|Digital silicon photomultiplier technology could enable faster, more-accurate photon counting.|
A fully scalable digital silicon photomultiplier technology could enhance such medical applications as PET imaging and analytical instrumentation, according to its manufacturer, Royal Philips Electronics (Eindhoven, Netherlands). The company recently announced significant progress in the development of the technology in the form of scaling it from a single-pixel to fully integrated, 64-pixel sensor.
Optimized for use in applications that require the measurement of ultralow light levels, the silicone photomultiplier technology can count single photons and detect their arrival time to within roughly 60 picoseconds, according to the company. It also maintains that the component will enable faster and more-accurate photon counting for these applications.
"Featuring digital detection of photon-induced avalanche breakdown in each individual photodiode, together with on-chip photon counting and time-stamping logic that eliminates the bulky power-consuming A/D circuitry associated with existing analog silicon photomultipliers, Philips' new digital silicon photomultiplier technology offers the 'solid-state' alternative to large-area sensors using photomultiplier tubes," according to the company.
The silicon photomultiplier features a sensing surface of more than 10 cm2 and low power consumption; the prototype has demonstrated consumption of less than 1 W. Insensitivity to magnetic fields and a high level of integration in the optical detection and associated readout circuitry are additional benefits of the technology, according to the company.
Philip will present details on the technology at the IEEE Nuclear Science Symposium and Medical Imaging Conference.