1970s

  Corporate history and product development
1970
  • Side-on type multialkali photomultiplier tubes, hollow cathode lamps and deuterium lamps were put on the market.
  • Funded by the Research Development Corporation of Japan with research into "Production technology of X-ray vidicons".
1971
  • Tokyo Business Office name changed to Tokyo Sales Office, moved to Azabu.
  • 3-inch photomultiplier tubes were put on the scintillation counting market.
1972
  • Gymnasium completed at the Main Factory.
  • 1/2-inch head-on photomultiplier tubes, photon-counting photomultiplier tubes, GaAs photomultiplier tubes, Si photodiodes and X-ray vidicons were put on the market.
  • Entered into technical cooperation with Heiman (then West Germany). Funded by MITI with "Research into Non-contact measurement confirmation for use in seabed pithead systems" under Largescale Projects.
1973
  • West-German joint company, Hamamatsu Television Europe GmbH, established.
  • First building at Toyooka Factory completed.
  • Capital increased to 60 million yen.

Toyooka Factory (1973)

1974
  • Capital increased to 90 million yen.
  • Signed technical support agreement with Philips (Netherlands).
1975
  • Photomultiplier tubes for liquid scintillation counting, X-ray CT scanners and Imagelyzers (image analysis systems) were put on the market.
  • Obtained an Important Technology Research and Development Fund Grant from MITI for "Applied research into high-sensitivity, high-speed pick-up storage tubes".
1976
  • Funded by MITI with "Research into gait pattern analyzer for the handicapped" under National Research and Development Programs for Medical and Welfare Apparatus. Funded by the Research Development Corporation of Japan with "Research into the production technology of cold cathode for electron emission".
1977
  • Computer compatible video cameras and streak camera systems were put on the market.
  • Obtained an Important Technology Research and Development Fund Grant from MITI for "Applied research into streak tubes".
1978
  • Capital increased to 125 million yen.
  • Micro Channel Plates, GaAsP photodiodes and Si PIN photodiodes were put on the market.
  • A vacuum UV television camera on the "Kyokkou" (an unmanned satellite designed for aurora observation) is the first in the world to send back images from outer space of an aurora.
1979
  • Osaka Sales Office opened. Capital increased to 225 million yen.
  • PSDs (Position Sensitive Detectors) and high temperature-use photomultiplier tubes were put on the market.
  • Obtained an Important Technology Research and Development Fund Grant from MITI for "Applied research into the development of the excimer laser for use in spectroscopy". Funded by MITI with "Research into Positron Emission Tomography: photoelectric conversion systems" under National Research and Development Programs for Medical and Welfare Apparatus.

 

 

The new mainstream in solid state components

Around that time, the camera maker to whom we were supplying CdS cells asked us to develop a silicon photodiode for use with cameras, saying that, as semiconductor components, these photodiodes offered better measurement accuracy and response characteristics than CdS cells. Silicon photodiodes were viewed as very promising at the time as sensors for camera exposure meters and measuring instruments. We got off to a late start in that field, but we drew on the knowhow and the sales channels that we had built up through our electron tube development and manufacturing, and silicon photodiodes later grew to be one of the main products of our Solid State Division.

 

Taking on the challenge of the 1,000,000,000,000,000th of a second


Streak tube

A thousand-trillionths of a second is called a femtosecond. One femtosecond is a tiny interval of time in which even light, which makes seven and a half circuits around the earth per second, only advances 0.0003 meters. It’s said that the natural world is formed as a result of the phenomena taking place during these nearly instantaneous periods of time, or from reactions to those phenomena. In other words, in order to explain the world of nature, we need to clarify the phenomena that happen during these minuscule intervals of time. The streak tube is what makes it possible to capture these super-high speed phenomena.

 

Opening up new borders through connections with computers


The C1000 vidicon camera for computers

Microcomputers first came out on the market in 1971, and spread like lightning. Hamamatsu Photonics was among the first to break new ground in television cameras for computers. Computers made complex image processing possible, and the range of applications in various fields broadened. Today’s system products are the next stage in the progression resulting from the combination of computers and TV cameras.


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