SensL Silicon Photomultipliers - High Gain APDs

SensL offers the world's first direct replacement for linear Photomultiplier Tubes (PMTs). The SensL Silicon Photomultiplier is based on a new and novel silicon structure optimised for low light sensing over a large area. The silicon photomultiplier combines the high gain (106) of PMTs with the form factor, low voltage (<50V) and mechanical robustness of silicon APDs. It is the ideal solution for low light sensing OEMs striving to design portable, smaller and lower cost systems. This novel concept is also revolutionising the sensor technology used in all radiation detection and scintillator based sensing applications, especially Nuclear Medicine and High Energy Physics.

Please follow this link to access a series of Technical and Application Notes about the SPM family.

The Silicon Photomultiplier Concept

The Silicon Photomultiplier (SPM) technique connects arrays of SensL's core CMOS compatible photon counting (Geiger mode) photodiodes together in parallel, each with an integrated quench circuit on a single piece of silicon. An incident photon on any photodiode produces a pulse of current at the sensor output. The total output is the sum of all the individual pulses of current which is proportional to the number of photodiodes detecting a photon at any moment in time, which in turn is proportional to the incident photon flux or light intensity (i.e. similar to an APD operating in avalanche or linear mode). At 106 the total sensor gain is significantly higher than that of a normal APD (~100).This novel device combines the main advantages and benefits of 'normal' silicon APDs (size, low voltage operation, robustness) with the main advantages of PMTs (i.e. high gain, gain stability) in a single silicon device. These SPM pixels are used by SensL to create a range of products that are designed and optimized to replace Analog PMTs, whether in the lab or for OEMs, in all low light detection applications.

Note on Linear/Analog Mode: Linear or Analog mode of operation for light detectors implies a linear output signal where the amplitude of the output (voltage or current) is proportional to the incident light. Examples of such sensors include normal photodiodes (gain = 1), silicon APDs (gain ~ 100, Photomultipliers - PMTs and Silicon Photomultipliers (from SensL) (gain ~ 106) Typical external circuitry includes A/D converters preamplifier/ transimpedance amplifiers or signal integrators.

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