High-power laser production of PET isotopes

L. Robson, P. McKenna, T. McCanny, K.W.D. Ledingham, J.M. Gillies, J. Zweit

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

4 Citations (Scopus)


Recent experiments have demonstrated that laser-solid interactions at intensities greater than 1019 W/cm2 can produce fast electron beams of several hundred MeV [1], tens of MeV γ-rays [2, 3], up to 58MeV proton beams [4, 5], and heavier ions [6] of up to 7MeV/nucleon. One of the potential applications of the high-energy proton beams is the production of radioactive isotopes for positron emission tomography (PET). PET is a form of medical imaging requiring the production of short-lived positron emitting isotopes 11C, 13N, 15O, and 18F, by proton irradiation of natural/enriched targets using cyclotrons. PET development has been limited because of the size and shielding requirements of the nuclear installations. Recent results have shown when an intense laser beam interacts with solid targets, tens of MeV protons capable of producing PET isotopes are generated [7, 8, 9].

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLasers and Nuclei
Subtitle of host publicationApplications of Ultrahigh Intensity Lasers in Nuclear Science
EditorsHeinrich Schwoerer, Burgard Beleites, Joseph Magill
Place of PublicationBerlin
Number of pages13
ISBN (Print)3540302719, 9783540302711
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2006

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Physics
ISSN (Print)0075-8450


  • positron emission tomography
  • laser irradiance
  • rutherford appleton laboratory
  • single laser shot
  • intense laser beam

Cite this

Robson, L., McKenna, P., McCanny, T., Ledingham, K. W. D., Gillies, J. M., & Zweit, J. (2006). High-power laser production of PET isotopes. In H. Schwoerer, B. Beleites, & J. Magill (Eds.), Lasers and Nuclei: Applications of Ultrahigh Intensity Lasers in Nuclear Science (pp. 191-203). (Lecture Notes in Physics; Vol. 694). Springer. https://doi.org/10.1007/3-540-30272-7_12