SiPM: Fundamentals and Applications

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IOP Physics and Engineering in Medicine Journal publishes a large review paper "The silicon-photomultiplier: fundamentals and applications of a modern solid-state photon detector" by Stefan Gundacker and Arjan Heering from CERN, Geneva, Switzerland and University of Notre Dame, Indiana, USA respectively.

"The silicon-photomultiplier (SiPM) is an established device of choice for a variety of applications, e.g. in time of flight positron emission tomography (TOF-PET), lifetime fluorescence spectroscopy, distance measurements in LIDAR applications, astrophysics, quantum-cryptography and related applications as well as in high energy physics (HEP). To fully utilize the exceptional performances of the SiPM, in particular its sensitivity down to single photon detection, the dynamic range and its intrinsically fast timing properties, a qualitative description and understanding of the main SiPM parameters and properties is necessary. These analyses consider the structure and the electrical model of a single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) and the integration in an array of SPADs, i.e. the SiPM. The discussion will include the front-end readout and the comparison between analog-SiPMs, where the array of SPADs is connected in parallel, and the digital SiPM, where each SPAD is read out and digitized by its own electronic channel. For several applications a further complete phenomenological view on SiPMs is necessary, defining several SiPM intrinsic parameters, i.e. gain fluctuation, afterpulsing, excess noise, dark count rate, prompt and delayed optical crosstalk, single photon time resolution (SPTR), photon detection effieciency (PDE) etc. These qualities of SiPMs influence directly and indirectly the time and energy resolution, for example in PET and HEP. This complete overview of all parameters allows one to draw solid conclusions on how best performances can be achieved for the various needs of the different applications."

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