Silicon photomultipliers offer performance & application advantages

9th October 2015
Posted By : Jordan Mulcare
Silicon photomultipliers offer performance & application advantages

First Sensor extends its range of optical sensors with innovative solid-state Silicon PhotoMultipliers (SiPMs) for the detection of ultra-low light levels down to single photons. Compared to conventional photomultiplier tubes, SiPMs offer significant advantages such as low operating voltage, excellent temperature stability, immunity to magnetic fields and a much smaller size for easy system integration.

The detectors are optimised for near ultraviolet (SiPM-NUV series) or red, green and blue (SiPM-RGB series) light detection with peak sensitivities at 420 or 550nm.

The silicon photomultipliers consist of a matrix of multiple avalanche photodiode micro-cells operated above their breakdown voltage (Geiger mode). NUV- and RGB-SiPMs from First Sensor feature extremely low temperature coefficients of the breakdown voltage and gain, which allows for highly accurate and stable measurements. Enhanced materials and semiconductor technology enable low-noise devices with reduced dark count rate, crosstalk and very low typical afterpulsing probability of less than 4%.

The precision SiPM detectors are designed to achieve very high gain (>106) and high photon detection efficiencies. The edgeless SiPM dies ensure high cell fill-factors and maximised active areas in array arrangements. The chip-scale-package provides a cost-effective and RoHS compliant solution suitable for reflow soldering. For custom specific applications First Sensor develops and manufactures arrays, modules and complete systems for OEM customers worldwide.

Typical applications of these silicon photomultipliers include high energy physics, medical diagnostics, nuclear medicine, homeland security and analytical instruments. Due to the immunity to external magnetic fields, SiPM detctors are suitable for medical imaging applications such as combined tomography systems using magnetic resonance tomography and positron emission tomography or single photon emission computed tomography.

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