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Photomultiplier tubes



Sergey V. Polyakov


Photomultiplier tubes (PMTs), also known as photomultipliers, are remarkable devices. While a PMT was the rst device to detect light at the single photon level, invented more than 80 years ago, they are widely used to this day, particularly in biological and medical applications. Modern PMTs deliver low noise and low jitter detection over a wide dynamic range. However, they o er limited detection eciency, especially for longer wavelengths. We discuss the physical mechanisms behind the photon detection in PMTs, the history of their development and the key characteristics of PMTs in photon-counting mode. BRIEF HISTORY
Single-Photon Generation and Detection: Physics and Applications
Publisher Info
Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA


photomultiplier, single-photon detector, secondary emission, photoeffect


Polyakov, S. (2013), Photomultiplier tubes, Elsevier, Philadelphia, PA, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created November 29, 2013, Updated February 19, 2017