Most plastic films have limited response ranges for dosimetry because of radiation-induced brittleness, degradation, or saturation of the signal used for analysis (e.g. spectrophotometry) at high doses. There are, however, a few types of thin plastic films showing linearity of response even up to doses as high as 2 × 106 Gy (200 Mrad) without severe loss of mechanical properties. Among many candidate film types tested, those showing such resistance to radiation damage and continued response at such high doses are polyethylene terephthalate, high-density polyethylene, dyed polyvinylchloride, polystyrene, dyed and undyed polyhalostyrenes, dyed aromatic polyamides, and polyvinylidene fluoride. Although most of these systems have fairly stable absorption spectra after irradiation, tests of dependence on dose rate and on temperature during irradiation show that only polystyrene and some of the polyhalostyrenes have essentially rate-independent and moderately temperature-dependent responses to such large doses of ionizing radiation. While radiation-induced optical absorption in the ultraviolet for polystyrene is unstable following irradiation, thus leading to an intrinsic low-intensity rate dependence, the dyed polychlorostyrenes show essentially the same response to radiation-processing gamma-ray fields and to very high-intensity electron beams, and a relatively stable absorption spectrum at wavelengths for dosimetry analysis in the visible spectral region of ≈430 nm.
Radiation Physics and Chemistry, 1985, Vol 25, Issue 4-6, p. 729-748