Avalanche photodiodes counts photons

3rd August 2016
Daisy Stapley-Bunten

As an attractive alternative to the photomultiplier tube, LASER COMPONENTS is proud to manufacture the SAP500-series. Based on a 'reach-through' structure for excellent quantum efficiency, extremely low noise, low bulk dark current and high gain, these components can be operated in normal linear mode (Reverse Voltage < Breakdown Voltage) at gains of up to 250 or greater or in 'Geiger' mode (Reverse Voltage > Breakdown Voltage) to permit the detection of single photons.

The SAP500-series are hermetically sealed in a modified TO-46 package can or can be supplied with a one-stage TEC in a TO-37 package, or with a two-stage TEC in a TO-8 package. This versatility in packaging allows for the use of these components in a wide range of applications including LIDAR, spectroscopy, small signal florescence detection and photon counting.

The SAP500 series is well suited for applications that quantify the weakest light signals (including single photons) and detect them in a time-resolved manner (e.g., LIDAR, spectroscopy, fluorescence measurements, or photon counting).

The advantages compared to photomultipliers are as follows:

  • small compact design
  • very high quantum efficiency
  • not sensitive to magnetic fields
  • robust
  • long lifetime
  • very good time resolution
  • inexpensive
  • smaller operating voltage

The SAP-500 series is available in a modified, hermetically-sealed TO-46 housing. A version is also available with a single-stage thermoelectric cooler in a TO-37 housing or a double-stage TEC in a TO-8 housing.

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