Detectors for Accurate Light Measurements
Frequently Asked Questions
A detector is a device that converts electromagnetic radiation (such as light) into an electrical signal.
There are several types of detectors, including photodiodes, photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), avalanche photodiodes (APDs), charge-coupled devices (CCDs), and complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) sensors.
A photodiode is a semiconductor device that generates a current proportional to the incident light intensity. A photomultiplier tube, on the other hand, uses a photocathode to generate electrons that are then multiplied by a series of dynodes, resulting in a much higher current output.
The dark current of a detector is the electrical current that flows through the detector even when no light is present. It is caused by thermally generated carriers in the detector material.
The dynamic range of a detector is the ratio of the maximum measurable signal to the minimum detectable signal. A detector with a high dynamic range is able to detect both weak and strong signals.
Quantum efficiency is the ratio of the number of electrons generated by a detector per incident photon. A detector with a high quantum efficiency is able to convert a large percentage of incident photons into electrical signals.
The responsivity of a detector is the ratio of the output signal to the input signal. It is a measure of how efficiently the detector converts incident light into an electrical signal.
The spectral response of a detector is the range of wavelengths of light that the detector is sensitive to. Different types of detectors have different spectral responses, which can be tailored to specific applications.
The noise equivalent power (NEP) of a detector is the minimum detectable power level that can be distinguished from noise. A detector with a low NEP is able to detect very weak signals with high accuracy.
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