Monte carlo calculation of the energy spectrum of a 6 MeV electron beam using penetration and energy loss of positrons and electrons code

Danny Apaza Veliz, Jorge Wilches Visbal, Felipe Abrego, José Vega Ramírez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: The limited bibliographic existence of research works on the use of Monte Carlo simulation to determine the energy spectra of electron beams compared to the information available regarding photon beams is a scientific task that should be resolved. Aims: In this work, Monte Carlo simulation was performed through the PENELOPE code of the Sinergy Elekta accelerator head to obtain the spectrum of a 6 MeV electron beam and its characteristic dosimetric parameters. Materials and Methods: The central-axis energy spectrum and the percentage depth dose curve of a 6 MeV electron beam of an Elekta Synergy linear accelerator were obtained by using Monte Carlo PENELOPE code v2014. For this, the linear accelerator head geometry, electron applicators, and water phantom were simplified. Subsequently, the interaction process between the electron beam and head components was simulated in a time of 86.4x104s. Results: From this simulation, the energy spectrum at the linear accelerator exit window and the surface of the phantom was obtained, as well as the associated percentage depth dose curves. The validation of the Monte Carlo simulation was performed by comparing the simulated and the measured percentage depth dose curves via the gamma index criterion. Measured percentage depth- dose was determined by using a Markus electron ionization chamber, type T23343. Characteristic parameters of the beam related with the PDD curves such as the maximum dose depth (R100), 90% dose depth (R90), 90% dose depth or therapeutic range (R85), half dose depth (R50), practical range (Rp), maximum range (Rmax), surface dose (Ds), normalized dose gradient (G0) and photon contamination dose (Dx) were determined. Parameters related with the energy spectrum, namely, the most probable energy of electrons at the surface (Ep,0) and electron average energy (E-0) were also determined. Conclusion: It was demonstrated that PENELOPE is an attractive and accurate tool for the obtaining of dosimetric parameters of a medical linear accelerator since it can reliably reproduce important clinical data such as the energy spectrum, depth dose, and dose profile.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)116-122
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Medical Physics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Apr 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Wolters Kluwer Medknow Publications. All rights reserved.


  • Dose profile
  • Monte Carlo simulation
  • PENetration and Energy LOss of Positrons and Electrons
  • electron spectrum
  • percentage depth-dose


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