Emfietzoglou, D., Cucinotta, F. A. and Nikjoo, H. A Complete Dielectric Response Model for Liquid Water: A Solution of the Bethe Ridge Problem. Radiat. Res. 164, 202–211 (2005).

We present a complete yet computationally simple model for the dielectric response function of liquid water over the energy-momentum plane, which, in contrast to earlier models, is consistent with the recent inelastic X-ray scattering spectroscopy data at both zero and finite momentum transfer values. The model follows Ritchie's extended-Drude algorithm and is particularly effective at the region of the Bethe ridge, substantially improving previous models. The present development allows for a more accurate simulation of the inelastic scattering and energy deposition process of low-energy electrons in liquid water and other biomaterials. As an example, we calculate the stopping power of liquid water for electrons over the 0.1–10 keV range where direct experimental measurements are still impractical and the Bethe stopping formula is inaccurate. The new stopping power values are up to 30–40% lower than previous calculations. Within the range of validity of the first Born approximation, the new values are accurate to within the experimental uncertainties (a few percent). At the low end, the introduction of Born corrections raises the uncertainty to perhaps ∼10%. Thus the present model helps extend the ICRU electron stopping power database for liquid water down to about two orders of magnitude with a comparable level of uncertainty.

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