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Applications | Multi-Pixel Photon Counters (MPPCs/SiPMs)

Hamamatsu provides a wide selection of MPPCs, also known as silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for diverse applications that require different wavelengths, light intensities, and power. Example applications include, but are not limited to, biophotonics, hazard and threat detection (radioactive detection), LiDAR (light detection and ranging) and 3D ranging, particle physics, nuclear medicine, PET (positron emission tomography), hygiene monitoring, quantum computing, and sorting and recycling.

Distance Measurement (LiDAR)

MPPCs (SiPMs) and single pixel photon counter (SPPC/SPAD) arrays are capable of measuring extremely low light. For example, they can be used for long-range distance measurement based on the time-of-flight (TOF) method. Such distance measurement is helpful in automotive applications such as in-vehicle LiDAR (light detection and ranging) for driver monitoring, ADAS (advanced driver assistance systems), and LiDAR for autonomous vehicles. Time-of-flight distance measurement also plays a role in other areas such as drones, handheld rangefinders, proximity sensors, 3D mapping, augmented reality, industrial automation, and consumer robotics.

PET (Positron Emission Tomography)

Hamamatsu provides compact MPPCs, which are silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) with low voltage operation, excellent uniformity, and insensitivity to magnetic fields.
These are used in medical imaging systems to precisely target the location of cancers.

Flow cytometry

The side-scatter and fluorescence signals in a flow cytometry system are dim, so a detector with intrinsic gain such as a PMT, APD, or MPPC (SiPM) are used. The MPPCs (SiPMs) have gain and high bandwidth comparable to photomultiplier tubes, as well as low excess noise factor due to our crosstalk suppression structure. The additional advantages of mechanical durability, magnetic field immunity, and low voltage operation make MPPCs an ideal solution for flow cytometry systems.

Fluorescence & chemiluminescence measurement

The spectral response of MPPCs (SiPMs) are well-suited to the wavelength of light emission from commonly used fluorescent dyes and reagents. High sensitivity allows the MPPCs to measure minute signals required for applications such as fluorescence microscopy, hygiene monitoring, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR).

Particle counter

MPPCs (SiPMs) modules are often used in optical particle counters to count and measure the size of particles. Particle counting is helpful in characterizing cleanrooms, analyzing contaminated areas, counting particles in liquids, and other situations. To detect the low intensity scatter from particles, a photodetector with gain, such as a silicon photomultiplier, is highly recommended. When a laser passes through a chamber that contains a gas or liquid, the high gain photodetector measures the scattered light, and the intensity and frequency of these events indicate the size and quantities of these particles.


Scanning laser ophthalmoscope (SLO)

In ophthalmoscopy or funduscopy, the light that is irradiated into the eyeball must be of low intensity for safety reasons. MPPC (SiPM) and APD modules can be used to detect with superior resolution and contrast the faint light reflected from the eye.

Hygiene Monitor

Hygiene monitoring devices measure the amount of light emitted by the chemiluminescence reaction of adenosine triphosphate (ATP) with a reagent. The amount of light emitted by the sample is proportional to the amount of ATP present. The high gain and photosensitivity of MPPCs (SiPMs) enable the design of highly sensitive hygiene monitoring systems for use in challenging applications such as food safety to verify cleanliness of food production facilities, and industrial hygiene to detect the presence of dangerous microorganisms.

Quantum Computing & Cryptography

Optical detectors are utilized in certain quantum computation platforms to investigate quantum phenomenon such as entanglement and coherence that are much needed for the realization of quantum computation. An optical detector such as single pixel photon counter (SPPC), also known as SPAD, with very high photosensitivity and low dark count can be used for single photon counting. This type of detector is often used in quantum communication and quantum key distribution.

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