Gustafsson, H., Olsson, S., Lund, A. and Lund, E. Ammonium Formate, a Compound for Sensitive EPR Dosimetry. Radiat. Res. 161, 464–470 (2004).
Alanine EPR dosimetry has been applied successfully when measuring intermediate and high radiation doses. Although the performance of alanine dosimetry is being improved, the sensitivity of the material is too low for a fast and simple low- dose determination. Here we present the results using ammonium formate as an EPR dosimeter material. Ammonium formate is seven times more sensitive than alanine, using spectrometer settings optimized for the latter. Deuterated ammonium formate is found to be more than eight times more sensitive than alanine. Analysis of signal stability with time shows that the ammonium formate signal is stable by 5 min after irradiation and that no change in signal intensity is found during 8 days. The atomic composition of ammonium formate is closer to that of tissue than alanine, and thus the energy dependence is smaller than that of alanine at photon energies below 200 keV. Power saturation studies indicate that the energy transfer between the spins and the lattice is fast in ammonium formate, which gives the possibility of using high microwave power without saturation to further increase the sensitivity. These results suggest that ammonium formate has some important properties required of an EPR dosimeter for applications in dosimetry in the dose range typical for radiation therapy.