The Raman spectroscopy of polymer gel dosimeters has been investigated with a view to developing a novel dosimetry technique that is capable of determining radiation dose within a micrometer of spatial resolution. The polymer gel dosimeter, known as the PAG dosimeter, is typically made up of acrylamide, N,N′-methylene-bisacrylamide, gelatin, and water. A polyacrylamide network within the gelatin matrix forms in response to an absorbed dose. The loss of monomers may be monitored by corresponding changes to the Raman spectrum. Principal component analysis offers a simple method of quantifying the absorbed radiation dose from the Raman spectrum of the polymer gel. The background luminescence in the spectrum increased significantly with dose and is shown to originate in the glass of the sample vial. The competing effects of elastic scatter, which increases with dose due to the formation of polymer, and sample absorption were quantified and found to introduce errors of up to 5% under certain conditions. Raman spectra as a function of distance from the air-surface interface have been measured for samples that were subjected to doses delivered by a clinical linear accelerator. The depth dose profile thus obtained compared favorably with 'gold standard' ion-chamber measurements.
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