DOI: 10.1002/mp.16856 ISSN: 0094-2405

A simulation of a high‐resolution cadmium zinc telluride positron emission tomography system

Riley Stanford‐Hill, Andrew Groll, Craig S. Levin
  • General Medicine



A CZT (cadmium zinc telluride) PET (positron emission tomography) system is being developed at Stanford University. CZT has the promise of outperforming scintillator‐based systems in energy and spatial resolution but has relatively poor coincidence timing resolution.


To supplement GATE (GEANT 4 Application for Emission Tomography) simulations with charge transport and electronics modeling for a high‐resolution CZT PET system.


A conventional GATE simulation was supplemented with electron‐hole transport modeling and experimentally measured single detector energy resolution to improve the system‐level understanding of a CZT high‐resolution PET system in development at Stanford University. The modeling used GATE hits data and applied charge transport in the crystal and RC‐CR processing of the simulated signals to model the electronics, including leading‐edge discriminators and peak pick‐off. Depth correction was also performed on the simulation data. Experimentally acquired data were used to determine energy resolution parameters and were compared to simulation data.


The distributions of the coincidence timing, anode energy, and cathode energy are consistent with experimental data. Numerically, the simulation achieved 153 ns FWHM coincidence time resolution (CTR), which is of the same order of magnitude as the raw 210 ns CTR previously found experimentally. Further, the anode energy resolution was found to be 5.9% FWHM (full width at half maximum) at 511 keV in the simulation, which is between the experimental value found for a single crystal of 3% and the value found for the dual‐panel setup of 8.02%, after depth correction.


Developing this advanced simulation improves upon the limitations of GATE for modeling semiconductor PET systems and provides a means for deeper analysis of the coincidence timing resolution and other complementary electron‐hole dependent system parameters.

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