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Detectors for High-Speed Photon Counting

Detectors for photon counting must have sufficient gain to deliver a useful output pulse for a single detected photon. The output pulse must be short enough to resolve the individual photons at high count rate, and the transit time jitter in the detector should be small to achieve a good time resolution. A wide variety of commercially available photomultipliers and a few avalanche photodiode detectors meet these general requirements. We discuss the applicability of different detectors to time-correlated photon counting (TCSPC), steady-state photon counting, multichannel-scaling, and fluorescence correlation measurements (FCS).

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