LightSpin Technologies, Inc., proposes to develop a photodetector module capable of providing ultra-fast timing resolution for TOF-PET applications. The photodetector module exploits LightSpin's ultra-fast Photomultiplier ChipTM technology, which is capable of achieving single-photon timing jitter below 20 ps across large photo-sensitive areas (more than 10 mm2), while maintaining excellent quantum efficiency (above 50%), linearity and dynamic range. The breakthrough stems from LightSpin's innovation in semiconductor single-photon detectors and monolithically integrated electronic circuits. The photodetector module will be coupled to a fast scintillator (cerium-doped lanthanum bromide), providing an ultimate capability to achieve ultra-fast TOF-PET with coincidence resolution better than 50 ps FWHM. In Phase I, LightSpin will demonstrate good timing performance in the photodetector itself and in a simple photodetector module coupled to a scintillator. In Phase II, LightSpin will develop a full PET detector camera module, including multiple photodetectors and a readout ASIC to report X, Y, timing, and energy of incident gamma rays.
The proposed detector module allows a radiation dose 50 times smaller than in conventional PET scanners to give a better image. The innovation is an ultra-fast detector module enabling 40 ps time-of-flight PET, with 7 times better signal-to-noise ratio.