Here, we will introduce several applications of our PMTs.
When light is irradiated onto a rapidly flowing solution that co ntains cells or chromosomes, fluorescence and scattered light is released from the cells or chromosomes. Analyzing this fluorescence and scattered light helps unravel the cell properties and their structures. This field of study is known as flow cytometry.
Flow cytometers are typical instruments used in this field for example, for research in cytology, immunology, and hematology, and also in part for labo ratory testing (medical front) including blood analysis.
Blood includes the antigen, which is the material causes immune reaction, of individual disease or bacteria which the person has. There is a blood inspection method which can decide that the subject has a disease or bacteria to what extent by reacting small amount of blood with an antibody as a reagent which bonds with specific antigen and measuring its amount of luminescence. While the study in order to improve efficiency of bonding or emission has been advanced, there has been also a demand to decrease the amount of sample used to measure. In order to achieve such demand, photomultiplier tubes are used as the detector which can perform single photon counting.
The hygiene monitor is also called an ATP analyzer. This device extracts the ATP held in bacteria and cells and makes measurements by causing a reaction with the luminous reagent in the ATP using the firefly's light emission principle. This hygiene monitor is used for making purity checks at restaurants and factories producing foods, etc. In the test, the surface of the object for inspection is wiped with a cotton swab and the extent of dirt or contamination immediately found just by inserting the swab in the sanitary monitor. A great feature of the hygiene monitor is that the photon counting method allows highly sensitive measurements using just an extremely small amount of sample material.
Portable radiation measurement devices or survey meters are essential for detecting radioactive substances for public safety in customs inspections, nuclear power plants, and hospitals, etc. Among various radiation measurement devices, the most sensitive type uses a combination of photomultiplier tube and scintillator and offers sensitivity ranging from several ten to hundreds of times higher than Geiger-Müller counters (GM counters). Photomultiplier tubes used in this application must be compact, rugged, and easily coupled to scintillators, and also have low power consumption.
SOx monitors or sulfur dioxide analyzers are used to measure the environmental concentration of sulfur dioxide in the air. Recent models use the ultraviolet fluorescence method that detects sulfur dioxide concentration in the air by irradiating ultraviolet light onto sulfur dioxides to excite SO₂ and then measure the fluorescence intensity emitted from the SO₂.
PMT is also used for NOx monitor and particle Counter. NOx monitors are used to measure nitrogen oxides which are air pollutants contained in the air and exhaust gases emitted from various combustion engines. A particle counter measures the density of particles floating in the atmosphere or inside rooms by measuring light scattering. Microparticles such as PM2.5 can be measured by utilizing the absorption of beta rays.
These systems find defects on semiconductor wafers, by scanning a laser beam onto the wafer and then detecting the resulting scattered light to find any debris, dirt or damage on the wafer surface. Advances in semiconductor technology have made lithographic lines on wafers even finer so that even smaller defects must now be detected making these inspection devices an essential tool.
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