All-optical Temporal Correlation for PET
This technique allows conversion of the electrical pulses from PET scintillation detectors into optical laser pulses. We hypothesize that purely optical temporal correlation of these light pulses from coincident 511 keV photons based on nanophotonic crystals rather than conventional electronic coincidence processing will significantly improve photon arrival time resolution (<100ps), advancing TOF-PET performance. We have devised a method of encoding PET ring detector position by introducing characteristic pulse delay times in each channel using nanophotonic crystals, then multiplexing all channels into a single system output (extremely fast photodetector). This will allow us to construct a PET scanner with fast time resolution for TOF, while reducing electronics cost and complexity.