San Diego Convention Center
San Diego, California, United States
11 - 15 August 2019
Course (SC1277)
Photodetectors – A Practical Selection Guide
  • Instructor:
  • Slawomir Piatek, New Jersey Institute of Technology (United States);
Sunday 11 August 2019
8:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Member Price $405.00
Non-Member Price $465.00
Student Member Price $261.00
  • Course Level:
  • Introductory
  • CEU:
  • 0.4
Many new and trending photonics applications (PET for medical imaging, LiDAR for autonomous vehicles, flow cytometry for medical point-of-care) require the use of photodetectors. This course discusses the selection process of an optimal photodetector from a pool of four (photomultiplier tube, photodiode, avalanche photodiode, and silicon photomultiplier) using the WITS$ methodology. The approach is based on four fundamental properties of light − wavelength (W), intensity (I), temporal behavior (T), and spatial characteristics (S) − and cost ($). After reviewing the basic concepts of the detectors’ optoelectronic characteristics, operation, and noise, the course presents realistic case studies of the selection process for a wide range of experimental setups. Anyone who wants to answer questions such as, “Should I switch from PMT to SiPM?” or “What are the advantages and weaknesses of each photodetector technology?” will benefit from taking this course.
Learning Outcomes
  • explain the fundamental and physics of operation of the four photodetectors
  • explain the origin and assess the importance of noise sources (e.g., shot, Johnson, multiplication, etc.) in the photodetectors and the detection electronics
  • identify the main applications of the four photodetectors
  • describe the key properties of the detected light used in the WITS$ methodology
  • estimate S/N for the given input light, photodetector, and readout electronics
  • compare the performance of the photodetectors in terms of S/N
  • incorporate detector cost in the selection process
  • summarize realistic examples of the selection process for a wide range of input light characteristics
Scientists, engineers, technicians, and graduate students who wish to learn how to select an optimal point photodetector for their optical system designs and experiments. Undergraduate training in engineering or science is assumed.
About the
Slawomir Piatek has been measuring proper motions of nearby galaxies using images obtained with the Hubble Space Telescope as senior university lecturer of physics at New Jersey Institute of Technology. Additionally, he has developed a photonics training program for engineers at Hamamatsu Corporation in New Jersey in the role of a science consultant. He has presented at various international conferences and webinars on important topics such as automotive LiDAR, flow cytometry, selection of photodetectors and more. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics at Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey.
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