Choosing a Photo Detector for Research Applications

Oriel Instruments offers a wide choice of detectors and detection systems. The systems can be selected based on the types of signals. Namely continous wave (CW) signal, modulated signal, and pused signal (Figure 1). CW signal is the photon equivalent of DC current, and is a steady or slowly varying signal. Modulated signal is a periodically varying signal. The duty factor of a modulated signal is normally in the range of 10% to 90%. Pulsed signal is a low duty factor signal.

Which Oriel Detection Systems can be used for which kinds of signals

Figure 1. Which Oriel Detection Systems can be used for which kinds of signals

Oriel Systems

Oriel Instruments offers the following systems:

  • DSO/Boxcar - Digital Storage Oscilloscope/Boxcar Integrators
  • OPM™ - Multifunction Optical Power Meter
  • MCD - Multichannel (Array) Detection Systems
  • RPM - Radiant Power Meter
  • Merlin™ - Digital Lock-in Radiometry System
  • PC - Photon Counting Detection System
  • GHz - GHz Detection System
  • Goldilux™ - Goldilux™ line of UVA, UVB, UVC and Lux Meters
  • LE - Laser Energy Meter
  • LifeSense™ - Fluorescence Lifetime Measurement System
  • MIR 8000™: FT-IR Family of Detectors
  • Solar UV: UVA and UVB Detectors

Signal powers that need to be measured differ greatly (Figure 2). Temporal behavior of signals of interest may differ largely (Figure 3). The Oriel systems allow users to measure from fW to 100s of Watts. Energy content of pulses may be low or high (Figure 4). Ambient light conditions range from ‘perfect’ condition to ‘how do I see my signal.’ Oriel Instruments offers solutions for all measurement needs. Figure 5 shows the ambient light rejection capabilities of the Oriel detectors.

Signal levels that you may need to measure span many orders of magnitude

Figure 2. Signal levels that you may need to measure span many orders of magnitude

Time constants of Oriel Detectors

Figure 3. Time constants of Oriel Detectors

Energy ranges of Oriel Detectors

Figure 4. Energy ranges of Oriel Detectors

Ambient light rejection capabilities of Oriel Detectors

Figure 5. Ambient light rejection capabilities of Oriel Detectors

A few of the light detection systems are either available as complete packages, or come with optional support accessories. Oriel Instruments also supplies individual components, so customers can create their own systems.

Multichannel Detectors

The Oriel InstaSpec™ and LineSpec™ photodiode array and CCD systems are robust detectors for use in multichannel spectroscopy. They can record any CW or pulsed event when operated in an integrating mode with a full dynamic range. A compact and portable package design, commanding operating software, and the ability to acquire single or multiple spectra almost immediately, are the key aspects of these detectors. Si and InGaAs models provide wide spectral coverage.

OPM™ and DSO/Boxcar Integrator

The Oriel OPM™ line of CW and AC (RMS) detection systems enables computerized data acquisition from femtowatts to watts, from CW to 100 kHz. The portfolio includes a broad choice of calibrated and non-calibrated detectors, from thermopiles to photmultiplier tubes (PMTs).

The new Digital Storage Oscilloscope/Boxcar Integrator line comprises of a PC plug-in card and many pulsed detectors, including pyroelectrics, photodiodes, and PMTs. This line enables data acquisition on pulsed events and facilitates signal to noise ratio improvement through the Boxcar Integrator or Averager function.

Merlin™ Digital Lock-in Radiometry System

The Merlin™ line consists of a digital signal processing (DSP) lock-in amplifier, calibrated cooled and room temperature detectors, and optical chopper. The chopper and detectors are operated by the lock-in using plug-in cards. The spectral range of 160nm to more than 20µm is covered by HgCdZnTe, PbSe, PbS, Ge, InGaAs, Si, PMTs, and pyroelectric detectors. The lock-in feature facilitates outstanding ambient rejection.

Cosine Response Goldilux™ General Purpose Light Meters

Cosine Response Goldilux™ General Purpose Light Meters measure UVA, UVB and UVC, and are available in photometric versions. Cosine response facilitates comparison with diverse safety standards. Power density or integrated dose can be measured using these detectors.

Photon Counting and Radiant Power Meter and Probes

Oriel Instruments’ new photon counting PMT systems are UV-NIR detection systems, delivering ultimate and affordable detectivity to measure very low signals. The hand held Radiant Power Meter and probes can be used for radiometric quality measurements of DC or pulsed radiation. The probe portfolio consists of pyroelectric and thermopile detectors, with a spectral response range of 200nm to 20µm, and a variety of broadband and filtered Si and Ge probes. Analog output enables data storage and analysis by means of dedicated or PC based data loggers.

GHz Detection System and MIR 8000™

The GHz Detection System line includes a PC plugin card and InGaAs and Si detectors, with sensitivity of up to 2GHz. Fiber optic pigtails may or may not be available. This line of detectors can be used to characterize pulse shape, and stability of picoseconds to microsecond long events. The detector family intended to work with the Oriel MIR 8000™ FT-IR is improved for detection of collimated, modulated IR radiation. The family consists of Si, InGaAs, InSb, HgZnCdTe (TE cooled), MCT, and DTGS detectors.

Solar UV and LifeSense™

The integrated, hand-held solar UV detectors are calibrated to measure UVA and UVB levels accurately. They yield a cosine response. The LifeSense™ systems, comprising modulated excitation and detection components, facilitate fluorescence measurements in the picosecond to nanosecond region.

About Oriel Instruments

Oriel Instruments, a Newport Corporation brand, was founded in 1969 and quickly gained a reputation as an innovative supplier of products for the making and measuring of light. Today, the Oriel brand represents leading instruments, such as light sources covering a broad range, from UV to IR, pulsed or continuous, and low to high power.

Oriel also offers monochromators and spectrographs, as well as flexible FT-IR spectrometers, which make it easy for users across many industries to build instruments for specific applications. Oriel is also a leader in the area of Photovoltaics with its offering of solar simulators, that allow you to simulate hours of solar radiation in minutes. Oriel continues to bring innovative products and solutions to Newport customers around the world.

This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Oriel Instruments.

For more information on this source, please visit Oriel Instruments.

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