IEEE Distinguished Lecture: The 10ps Time-of-Flight PET Challenge

Paul Lecoq, Senior Physicist
CERN Physics Department (PH), Genève, Switzerland IEEE NPS Distinguished Lecturer

In the frame of the course “Semiconductor Radiation Detectors” and of the IEEE Distinguished Lecturers Program, Paul Lecoq, Senior Physicist CERN Physics Department (PH), Genève, Switzerland IEEE NPS Distinguished Lecturer, will give a seminar on “The 10ps Time-of_Flight PET challenge” on May 23rd, 2019 at 10.45 am.

The future generation of radiation detectors is more and more demanding on timing performance for a wide range of applications, such as time of flight (TOF) techniques for PET cameras and particle identification in nuclear physics and high energy physics detectors, precise event time tagging in high luminosity accelerators and a number of photonic applications based on single photon detection. A target of 10ps coincidence time resolution in TOFPET scanners would introduce a paradigm shift in PET imaging. Besides resulting in on-line image formation, the localisation of annihilation events directly from their TOF provides ultimate use of the dose delivered to the patient to get the best Signal to Noise Ratio into the resulting image and offers a potential reduction of the scan duration and a direct access to the image during the scan itself. Reconstruction-less TOF-PET also reduces efficiently undesired effects inherent to the PET detection, namely “randoms” and “scatters” when appropriately correlated to energy discrimination, hence contributing to reduce dose, scan duration and possibly scan cost while using very short-lived positron emitting isotopes.
This talk will review the different processes at work and evaluate if some of the transient phenomena taking place during the fast thermalization phase can be exploited to extract a time tag with a precision in the few ps range. Some considerations will also be given on the possibility to exploit quantum confinement for the production of ultrafast spontaneous or stimulated emission in semi-conductors.
Finally, the present limitations of the photodetectors, and in particular the SiPMs will be discussed and some R&D lines to meet the 10ps challenge will be presented.

The IEEE NPSS Distinguished Lecturers Program sponsors the presentation of lectures at NPSS Chapter meetings as well as at IEEE Section and Student Chapter meetings.
More info. at:

Date / Time
Date(s) - 23/05/2019
10:45 -11:45

Andrea Castoldi

DEIB - Conference Room "Emilio Gatti", Via Ponzio 34/5, Milano