Hamamatsu Photonics Introduces New Upgraded High Performance Multi-Pixel Photon Counter (MPPC) Detectors
28 Aug 2013

Hamamatsu Photonics are proud to introduce a completely updated range of Multi-Pixel Photon Counter (MPPC) detectors. Hamamatsu’s already highly regarded MPPC technology has found uses in various applications from medical physics and high energy physics to general optical measurement applications. A new catalogue has been released detailing the numerous performance improvements to both the bare devices and to the high performance modules.

The MPPC detectors utilize a Geiger-mode pixilated avalanche photodiode structure for ultra-low-level light detection. Each pixel contains a quenching circuit so that simultaneous photon events can be counted separately and with a high degree of accuracy. The detectors feature typical gain values from 250,000 to several million, depending on the specific device. The MPPC detectors also feature high photon detection efficiency from 320nm to 900nm. Unlike traditional photomultiplier tubes (PMT) the MPPC can be operated at low voltage (less than 80 Volts) and they are insensitive to magnetic fields.
Some key areas of improvement to the MPPC include; greatly reduced dark count, reduced afterpulsing, increased photon detection efficiency, improvements in timing resolution and linearity as well as reduced crosstalk. The result of these and other improvements means that the MPPC now has a much improved signal-to-noise ratio, wider operating voltage range, improved time resolution and a wider dynamic range.

As well as these improvements to the product range, there are also multiple new bare and modular solutions not previously offered. For example, Hamamatsu now offers a single pixel module; effectively taking a single MPPC pixel, of 50µm or 100µm diameter, and housing this within a cooled module. Dark counts as low as 7cps are easily achievable in this way.

These improvements and the various new detector options mean the MPPC is now a serious contender to conventional photon counting devices in many more applications. The MPPC is ideally suited to a wide range of applications including positron emission tomography, high-energy physics, DNA sequencing, fluorescence measurement, nuclear medicine, point of care systems, drug discovery, medical diagnostic equipment and environmental analysis among many more.

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Sarah Thomas
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