Low light detection, down to the single photon, has been possible so far relying on photo-multiplier tubes (PMT). PMT are certainly a reliable, solid rock technology with decades of improvements and refinements. Their architecture is certainly beautiful but irreducibly complex. Biasing electronics can be sophisticated but the operational voltage necessarily exceeds 1000 V. Operation in magnetic fields may be possible but it does not come for free. Last but not least, miniaturisation below a matchbox size is hard to imagine. These figures certainly constrain their integration in apparatus and instruments, with an impact on design and cost. Silicon PhotoMultipliers (SiPM) stand to PMT like transistors stand to thermoionic valves. In essence, SiPM are an array of p-n junctions operated beyond the breakdown voltage, with every cell in the array ready to trigger an avalanche with 106 gain as long as the absorption of a photon generates a charge carrier. With the simplicity and cost of a Silicon sensor, operational voltage not exceeding 80V, magnetic field immunity and miniaturization down to 1 mm2, SiPM are state-of-the-art sensors, featuring an unprecedented photon number resolving capability and introducing the digital revolution in low light detection. In my talk, I will address the fundamentals of SiPM, identifying the key figures of merit, their measurements and presenting the state of the art and future directions. Moreover, I will consider exemplary applications in nuclear particle detection and dosimetry, homeland security, medical imaging and environmental science.
|Titolo:||Silicon PhotoMultipliers: Introducing the digital age in low light detection|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Relazione (in Volume)|