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Opt Express. 2007 Dec 10;15(25):17099-105.

Large dynamic range photon detector with a temperature-stabilized Si-based multi-pixel photon counter.


We present an efficient fluorescence detector in the visible region of the spectrum with a photon detection dynamic range over 10 (6) photons/s made of a temperature-stabilized Si-based multi-pixel photon counter at temperature down to 5 degrees C. We show that effective cooling of the device by means of a compact thermo-electric cooler brings several advantages, such as high gain, low dark noise rate, and thus high signal-to-noise ratio in the efficient fluorescence detection at 398.9 nm from the (1)S(0) ? (1)P(1) transition of the ytterbium atoms in an effusive atomic beam. We present also a comparison of the fluorescence detection efficiencies between the device and a side-on photo-multiplier tube with known gain positioned at the symmetric location from the ytterbium atomic beam.

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