Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Tiny 'on-chip detectors' count individual photons

Date:
March 21, 2011
Source:
American Institute of Physics
Summary:
A team of researchers has integrated tiny detectors capable of counting individual photons on computer chips. These detectors, called "single-photon avalanche diodes," act like mini Geiger counters, producing a "tick" each time a photon is detected.

A team of researchers has integrated tiny detectors capable of counting individual photons on computer chips. These detectors, called "single-photon avalanche diodes (SPAD)," act like mini Geiger counters, producing a "tick" each time a photon is detected.

The researchers present their findings in Applied Physics Letters, a journal published by the American Institute of Physics.

"In the past, making these detectors required specialized processes, but recently there has been tremendous progress in making these devices in 'standard' integrated circuit processes -- those used to make computer chips," says Ryan Field, a Ph.D. candidate in the department of electrical engineering at Columbia University. "This has dramatically decreased the cost of making detectors and enabled them to be integrated on the same chip with complex circuitry."

The team has produced such detectors with extremely low noise, which means that there's a low probability of getting a 'tick' without a photon present.

"These detectors are being used for specialized camera chips to measure fluorescence, which is extremely important to biological imaging," explains Field. "Fluorescent labels are used throughout biology to image processes in vivo and in vitro. One of the properties of fluorescence is that it decays after the excitation source has been removed, with a characteristic decay time known as the 'lifetime.' By photon counting, we can measure this lifetime with our SPAD-based camera, forming a high-frame-rate lifetime imager that can provide further insight into the nature of biological processes."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by American Institute of Physics. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ryan M. Field, Jenifer Lary, John Cohn, Liam Paninski, Kenneth L. Shepard. A low-noise, single-photon avalanche diode in standard 0.13 μm complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor process. Applied Physics Letters, 2010; 97 (21): 211111 DOI: 10.1063/1.3518473

Cite This Page:

American Institute of Physics. "Tiny 'on-chip detectors' count individual photons." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 March 2011. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317115448.htm>.
American Institute of Physics. (2011, March 21). Tiny 'on-chip detectors' count individual photons. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 1, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317115448.htm
American Institute of Physics. "Tiny 'on-chip detectors' count individual photons." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/03/110317115448.htm (accessed August 1, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Friday, August 1, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins