Investigation of the limitations of the highly pixilated CdZnTe detector for PET applications

Sergey Komarov, Yongzhi Yin, Heyu Wu, Jie Wen, Henric Krawczynski, Ling Jian Meng, Yuan Chuan Tai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We are investigating the feasibility of a high resolution positron emission tomography (PET) insert device based on the CdZnTe detector with 350m anode pixel pitch to be integrated into a conventional animal PET scanner to improve its image resolution. In this paper, we have used a simplified version of the multi pixel CdZnTe planar detector, 5mm thick with 9 anode pixels only. This simplified 9 anode pixel structure makes it possible to carry out experiments without a complete application-specific integrated circuits readout system that is still under development. Special attention was paid to the double pixel (or charge sharing) detections. The following characteristics were obtained in experiment: energy resolution full-width-at-half-maximum (FWHM) is 7% for single pixel and 9% for double pixel photoelectric detections of 511keV gammas; timing resolution (FWHM) from the anode signals is 30ns for single pixel and 35ns for double pixel detections (for photoelectric interactions only the corresponding values are 20 and 25ns); position resolution is 350m in x,y-plane and 0.4mm in depth-of-interaction. The experimental measurements were accompanied by Monte Carlo (MC) simulations to find a limitation imposed by spatial charge distribution. Results from MC simulations suggest the limitation of the intrinsic spatial resolution of the CdZnTe detector for 511keV photoelectric interactions is 170m. The interpixel interpolation cannot recover the resolution beyond the limit mentioned above for photoelectric interactions. However, it is possible to achieve higher spatial resolution using interpolation for Compton scattered events. Energy and timing resolution of the proposed 350m anode pixel pitch detector is no better than 0.6% FWHM at 511keV, and 2ns FWHM, respectively. These MC results should be used as a guide to understand the performance limits of the pixelated CdZnTe detector due to the underlying detection processes, with the understanding of the inherent limitations of MC methods.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7355-7380
Number of pages26
JournalPhysics in medicine and biology
Issue number22
StatePublished - Nov 21 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology
  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging


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