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Silicon APDs for Photon Counting

APD with excellent quantum efficiency made for photon counting.

The SAP-series silicon avalanche photodiodes are primarily used in photon counting. This series features highest efficiency and lowest dark current rates.

The SAP series
Avalanche Photodiode for Photon Counting

The SAP-series is based on a "reach through” structure with excellent quantum efficiency as well as extremely low noise and dark current. This APD, which has an active area of D=500 µm, can either be operated in normal linear mode (VR < VBR) with an internal gain of 250 or more or in "Geiger” mode.

In "Geiger” mode the APD is operated at a voltage that is larger than the breakdown voltage (VR > VBR); in this mode, single photons can be detected.


The SAP-series is well suited for applications that quantify the weakest light signals (including single photons) and detect them in a time-resolved manner (e.g., LIDAR, spectroscopy, fluorescence measurements, or photon counting). The advantages compared to photomultipliers (PMTs) are as follows:

  • Small compact design
  • Very high quantum efficiency
  • Not sensitive to magnetic fields
  • Robust
  • Long lifetime
  • Very good time resolution
  • Inexpensive
  • Smaller operating voltage

The SAP-series is available in a modified, hermetically-sealed TO-46 housing. A version is also available with a single-stage thermoelectric cooler in a TO-37 housing or a double-stage TEC in a TO-8 housing.



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High Voltage Modules for APD

With the inexpensive block modules from LASER COMPONENTS it is very easy to supply voltages up to several 1,000 V.


about Avalanche Photodiodes

Semiconductor Materials

Similar to photomultipliers, avalanche photodiodes are used to detect extremely weak light intensities.

Si APDs are used in the wavelength range from 250 to 1100 nm, and InGaAs is used as semiconductor material in APDs for the wavelength range from 1100 to 1700 nm.

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