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Detectors: Guideposts on the Road to Selection

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Choosing a detector requires evaluating many operating parameters and desired outcomes. This introduction provides a series of guideposts that will help lead the way to the right one.

Earl Hergert, Hamamatsu Corporation

Any number of medical, industrial, and analytical applications requires the detection of light. Chemiluminescence, bioluminescence, fluorescence, and atomic absorption are just a few, and all require a detector to convert the light into an electrical signal. There are four basic technologies that accomplish this task: photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs), avalanche photodiodes (APDs), and silicon photodiodes. The question of which detector to use is not a simple one. In applications where there is ample light, a photodiode is suitable. A PMT is the best choice...Read full article

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