Photon Counting Using a Large Area Avalanche Photodiode Cooled to 100 K
We have recently succeeded in counting single photon signals using 5 mm diameter avalanche photodiodes (APDs). While photon counting with APDs is not new , our work represents the first success with large area devices. For light from the ultraviolet to the near infrared the expected photon detection efficiency is outstanding; this combined with the large area of the device make it a very attractive detector for many applications. As we describe below, in our particular application, our system outperforms the best commercially available photomultiplier tubes by well over an order of magnitude.
KeywordsPhoton Counting Dark Count Potassium Atom Photon Pulse Pulse Height Distribution
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