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 ($). After reviewing the basic concepts of the detectors’ optoelectronic characteristics, operation, and noise, the course presents realistic case studies of the selection process for a wide range of experimental setups.
Anyone who wants to answer questions such as, “Should I switch from PMT to SiPM?” or “What are the advantages and weaknesses of each photodetector technology?” will benefit from taking this course.
- explain the fundamental and physics of operation of the four photodetectors
- explain the origin and assess the importance of noise sources (e.g., shot, Johnson, multiplication, etc.) in the photodetectors and the detection electronics
- identify the main applications of the four photodetectors
- describe the key properties of the detected light used in the WITS$ 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