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Photomultipliers: Low-Light, High-Speed Specialists

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Rapid detection of light calls for a sensitive detector and electronics that do not introduce additional signal noise. In fact, for very rapid detection, detector shot noise does not determine the signal-to-noise ratio. Instead, the amplifier has the most impact, which is why many designers have selected a photomultiplier tube for the high-speed or low-light-level detection of  photons.

Ken Kaufmann, Hamamatsu Corporation

The applications where rapid detection of light is a must are many. They include a wide variety: semiconductor inspection, gene sequencing, oil well logging and high-energy physics. The reasons for high-speed detection are varied, but often the motivation is either high sample throughput or short...Read full article

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