Malinen, E., Heydari, M. Z., Sagstuen, E. and Hole, E. O. Alanine Radicals, Part 3: Properties of the Components Contributing to the EPR Spectrum of X-Irradiated Alanine Dosimeters. Radiat. Res. 159, 23–32 (2003).
The amino acid l-α-alanine has attracted considerable interest for use in radiation dosimetry and has been formally accepted as a secondary standard for high-dose and transfer dosimetry. Recent results have shown that the alanine EPR spectrum consists of contributions from three different radicals. A set of benchmark spectra describing the essential spectral features of these three radical components was used for reconstructions of the experimental spectra. In the present work, these basis spectra have been used to investigate the differential effects of variations in radiation doses and microwave power, as well as the dependence upon temperature annealing and UV illumination. The results presented here, based solely on relatively low-energy (60–80 keV) X rays, indicate that the three components behave very similarly with respect to radiation dose at room temperature. However, with respect to the thermal annealing/fading behavior and microwave power saturation properties, the three species behave significantly differently. It is concluded that even if it is now realized that three different radicals contribute to the composite EPR alanine spectrum, this has a minor impact on the established protocols for present-day applications (high-dose) of EPR/alanine dosimetry. However, some care should be exercised when e.g. constructing calibration curves, since fading and power saturation behavior may vary over the dose range in question. New results from UV-illumination experiments suggest a possible procedure for experimental spectral separation of the EPR signals due to the three radicals.