One of the first commercial applications of photomultipliers was for detecting the pulses of light emitted by scintillators when exposed to nuclear radiation, which is the principle still used today for monitoring environmental radiation in association with nuclear power stations. To meet the exacting safety requirements it is necessary to be able to detect extremely low levels of radiation whether it be in the atmosphere or present on clothing, and the pmt/scintillator combination can do this easily.
One of the distinguishing features of a photomultiplier, and which is not applicable to other devices, is its relatively large active input area – typically the light-sensitive surface is 30mm – 50mm diameter but it can be up to 200mm diameter or even bigger. This is due to the fundamental quantum nature of how the pmt works by converting detected photons to electrons which are then multiplied within the device itself before the signal is extracted. This multiplication process is relatively noise free and can produce measurable signals from light sources as low as a few photons.
These features give the photomultiplier a unique capability and this is why the device has survived and prospered in the face of competition from silicon technology. In fact, not only has photomultiplier performance improved over the years, and is still improving, the photomultiplier user can now choose from a wide range of associated hardware and electronics modules designed to achieve the best results in the shortest timescale.
In addition, ET Enterprises and ADIT Electron Tubes offer a high level of customer service, including technical support. As a start, please try our website’s comprehensive product search facilities, including the possibility to find replacements for Photonis photomultipliers. But if you need assistance you are welcome to contact us either in the UK or the US office, or through one of our global distributors.