Mainardi, E., Donahue, R. J., Wilson, W. E. and Blakely, E. A. Comparison of Microdosimetric Simulations Using PENELOPE and PITS for a 25 keV Electron Microbeam in Water. Radiat. Res. 162, 326–331 (2004).

The calculations presented compared the performances of two Monte Carlo codes used for the estimation of microdosimetric quantities: Positive Ion Track Structure code (PITS) and a main user code based on the PENetration and Energy Loss of Positrons and Electrons code (PENELOPE-2000). Event-by-event track structure codes like PITS are believed to be superior for microdosimetric applications, and they are written for this purpose. PITS tracks electrons in water down to 10 eV. PENELOPE is one of the few general-purpose codes that can simulate random electron-photon showers in any material for energies from 100 eV to 1 GeV. The model used in the comparison is a water cylinder with an internal scoring geometry made of spheres 1 μm in diameter where the scoring quantities are calculated. The source is a 25 keV electron pencil beam impinging normally on the sphere surface. This work shows only the lineal energy y and spectra graphical presentation as a function of y since for microdosimetry and biology applications, and for discussion of radiation quality in general, these results are more appropriate. The computed PENELOPE results are in agreement with those obtained with the PITS code and published previously in this journal. This paper demonstrates PENELOPE's usefulness at low energies and for small geometries. What is still needed are experimental results to confirm these analyses.

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