A depth encoding PET detector module using semi-monolithic scintillation crystal single-ended readout by a SiPM array was built and its performance was measured. The semi-monolithic scintillator detector consists of 11 polished LYSO slices measuring 1  ×  11.6  ×  10 mm3. The slices are glued together with enhanced specular reflector (ESR) in between and outside of the slices. The bottom surface of the slices is coupled to a 4  ×  4 SiPM array with a 1 mm light guide and silicon grease between them. No reflector is used on the top surface and two sides of the slices to reduce the scintillation photon reflection. The signals of the 4  ×  4 SiPM array are grouped along rows and columns separately into eight signals. Four SiPM column signals are used to identify the slices according to the center of the gravity of the scintillation photon distribution in the pixelated direction. Four SiPM row signals are used to estimate the y (monolithic direction) and z (depth of interaction) positions according to the center of the gravity and the width of the scintillation photon distribution in the monolithic direction, respectively. The detector was measured with 1 mm sampling interval in both the y and z directions with electronic collimation by using a 0.25 mm diameter 22Na point source and a 1  ×  1  ×  20 mm3 LYSO crystal detector. An average slice based energy resolution of 14.9% was obtained. All slices of 1 mm thick were clearly resolved and a detector with even thinner slices could be used. The y positions calculated with the center of gravity method are different for interactions happening at the same y, but different z positions due to depth dependent edge effects. The least-square minimization and the maximum likelihood positioning algorithms were developed and both methods improved the spatial resolution at the edges of the detector as compared with the center of gravity method. A mean absolute error (MAE) which is defined as the probability-weighted mean of the absolute value of the positioning error is used to evaluate the spatial resolution. An average MAE spatial resolution of ~1.15 mm was obtained in both y and z directions without rejection of the multiple scattering events. The average MAE spatial resolution was ~0.7 mm in both y and z directions after the multiple scattering events were rejected. The timing resolution of the detector is 575 ps. In the next step, long rectangle detector will be built to reduce edge effects and improve the spatial resolution of the semi-monolithic detector. Thick detector up to 20 mm will be explored and the positioning algorithms will be further optimized.

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