Characterization of the BOLDPET optical prototype, an innovative Cherenkov detector for 511 keV $\gamma$ radiation
Roman ChyzhGerard TauzinDominique YvonChi-Hsun SungDominique BretonJihane MaalmiKlaus Sch\"afersChristian WeinheimerViatcheslav Sharyy
Roman ChyzhGerard TauzinDominique Yvon
In the present work we describe the design, construction, and testing of the optical prototype developed for the BOLDPET project, with the objective of creating a PET detection module with high spatial and time resolution. The BOLDPET technology uses an innovative detection liquid, trimethylbismuth, for detecting 511 keV $\gamma$-quanta resulting from positron annihilation. The optical signal is exclusively produced through the Cherenkov mechanism, and the produced photons are detected using Planacon microchannel-plate photomultiplier. We achieve an excellent time resolution of 150 ps (FWHM) within a sizable detection volume measuring 55 mm x 55 mm x 25 mm. Through detailed Geant4 simulations, we examine the limiting factors affecting time resolution and explore potential avenues for improvement. Furthermore, we demonstrate the feasibility of coarse 2D localization of interactions using the optical signal alone, achieving a precision of about 5-8 mm (FWHM) within the homogeneous detection volume.