Purpose: To obtain accurate x-ray source profile measurements using a slit-collimator, the slit-collimator should have a narrow width, large height, and be positioned near the source. However, these conditions may not always be met. In this paper, the authors provide a detailed analysis of the slit measurement geometry and the relationship between the slit parameters and the measured x-ray source profile. The slit model allows the use of a shorter and more easily available slit-collimator, while accurate source profile measurements can still be obtained. Methods: Measurements were performed with a variety of slit widths and/or slit to source distances. The relationship derived between the slit parameters and the measured profile was used to determine the true focal spot profile through a least square fit of the profile data. The model was verified by comparing the predicted profiles at a variety of slit-collimator parameters with the measured results on the TomoTherapy Hi-Art system. Results: Both the treatment beam and the imaging beam were measured. For treatment mode, it was found that a source consisting of one Gaussian with a 0.75 mm full-width-half-maximum (FWHM) and 72 peak amplitude and a second Gaussian with a 2.27 mm FWHM and 18 peak amplitude matched measurement profiles. The overall source profile has a FWHM of 0.93 mm, but with a higher amplitude in the tail region than a single Gaussian. For imaging mode, the source consists of one Gaussian with a 0.68 mm FWHM and 82 peak amplitude and a second Gaussian with a 1.83 mm FWHM and 18 peak amplitude. The overall source profile has a FWHM of 0.77 mm. Conclusions: Our study of the focal spot measurement using slit-collimators showed that accurate source profile measurements can be achieved through fitting of measurement results at different slit widths and source-to-slit distances (SSD). Quantitative measurements of the TomoTherapy linac focal spot showed that the source distribution could be better described with a model consisting of two Gaussian components rather than a single Gaussian model as assumed in previous studies.
- focal spot
- source size
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging