High-power laser production of PET isotopes

Robson, L. and McKenna, P. and McCanny, T. and Ledingham, K.W.D. and Gillies, J.M. and Zweit, J. (2006) High-power laser production of PET isotopes. In: Lasers and Nuclei. Lecture Notes in Physics . Springer, Berlin, pp. 191-203. ISBN 9783540302711

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Abstract

Recent experiments have demonstrated that laser-solid interactions at intensities greater than 1019 W/cm2 can produce fast electron beams of several hundred MeV [1], tens of MeV γ-rays [2, 3], up to 58MeV proton beams [4, 5], and heavier ions [6] of up to 7MeV/nucleon. One of the potential applications of the high-energy proton beams is the production of radioactive isotopes for positron emission tomography (PET). PET is a form of medical imaging requiring the production of short-lived positron emitting isotopes 11C, 13N, 15O, and 18F, by proton irradiation of natural/enriched targets using cyclotrons. PET development has been limited because of the size and shielding requirements of the nuclear installations. Recent results have shown when an intense laser beam interacts with solid targets, tens of MeV protons capable of producing PET isotopes are generated [7, 8, 9].