Single-photon detectors and detection: SiPM, SPAD, SNSPD, PMT, TES, and photon-resolving camera technologies

Slawomir S. Piatek, Ph.D., New Jersey Institute of Technology
February 16, 2022

About this webinar

Increasingly, photodetectors capable of detecting single photons are demanded by modern applications, including quantum computing, time-of-flight lidar, and dark matter detection. These applications also present stringent engineering requirements, such as high—nearly 100%—photon-detection efficiency, low dark-count rate, sensitivity in the IR spectrum, and instrument-limited time jitter.


Such applications and their requirements have together motivated research and development efforts for single-photon detectors. Changes have also been made to the existing standard-bearer, a photomultiplier tube.


Slawomir S. Piatek provides a midlevel overview of single-photon detectors: photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), single-photon avalanche photodiodes (SPADs), silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs), superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs), superconducting transition edge sensors (TES), and photon-resolving cameras. The presentation concludes with a survey of applications in which single-photon detectors are employed.

About the presenter

As a senior university lecturer of physics at New Jersey Institute of Technology, Slawomir S. Piatek, Ph.D., has been measuring the proper motions of nearby galaxies using images obtained by the Hubble Space Telescope. As a science consultant for Hamamatsu Corp. in New Jersey, Piatek has developed a photonics training program for engineers. At Hamamatsu, he is also involved in popularizing the silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) as a novel photodetector by writing and lecturing about it, and by experimenting with the device. He earned a doctorate in physics from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in 1994.