The preparation and characterization of silicon-based composites doped with BaSO4, WO3, and PbO nanoparticles for shielding applications in PET and nuclear medicine facilities

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Medical Radiation Sciences Research Team, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran

2 Department of Nuclear Physics, Faculty of Physics, University of Tabriz, Tabriz, Iran

3 Department of Medical Physics, Oncology Institute, Istanbul University, Istanbul, Turkey

4 Molecular Medicine Research Center, Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran


Objective(s): The present study aimed to design new nanoparticle-based shielding materials for photons used in single-photon emission computed tomography and positron emission tomography facilities.
Materials and Methods: Initially, the mass attenuation coefficients and half value layer (HVL) of the composites were comprehensively investigated based on a silicon rubber containing various ratios of micro- and nano-barium sulfate (BaSO4), lead oxide (PbO), and tungsten oxide (WO3) particles at 60, 80, 100, 150, 200, 300, 400, 500, and 600 keV photon energies using the MCNP-X6 Monte Carlo (MC) code and WinXCOM software. In the second stage, the composites composed of 10 wt% and 20 wt% WO3 and PbO particles were constructed in a liquid silicone rubber-based matrix. The mass attenuation coefficients and HVL of the designed shields were experimentally assessed using Cs-137 and Am-241 radioactive sources.
Results: The particles sizes of PbO and WO3 were within the range of 50-200 nanometers. The MC and measurement results indicated that the linear attenuation coefficients of the composites were augmented with the addition of all the studied nano- and micro-particles. However, the PbO composites had more significant shielding properties compared to the BaSO4 and WO3 composites.
Conclusion: According to the results, the nanocomposites had better ability to shield γ-rays at both energies compared to the micro-composites.


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