Special Issue "Single-Photon Detection Instrumentation and Applications"

A special issue of Instruments (ISSN 2410-390X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 April 2019)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Angelo Gulinatti

Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria, Politecnico di Milano, piazza Leonardo da Vinci 32, 20133 Milano, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: single-photon detection; time-correlated single photon counting; design and modeling of photodetectors; semiconductor technologies for photodetectors

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

In recent years, we witnessed an impressive increase in interest in single-photon detection, which has been boosted by two key aspects: The huge improvements in the performance of single-photon detection instrumentation, and the appearance of new industrial and scientific applications. These two aspects have acted synergistically. On the one hand, technical improvements have made possible and have stimulated the use of single-photon techniques in new fields; on the other hand, emerging applications have pushed for better performances and new functionalities.

There are many technical advancements that have made this change of pace possible. Among them are the general improvements in Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPAD) performance, which can be ascribed to new structures, better design, and improved fabrication techniques; the successful adoption of CMOS technologies for the fabrication of large arrays of SPADs with smart pixels and advanced functionalities; the introduction of low-noise high-efficiency Silicon PhotoMultipliers (SiPM); the development of compact, multi-channel, time-correlated single-photon counting electronics; and the fabrication of Superconducting Nanowire Single-Photon Detectors (SNSPD) with performances that are close to ideal.

In spite of the tremendous progress of the last few years, a lot still has to be done to comply with the stringent requirements of applications like laser ranging, medical imaging, quantum-secure communication, time-resolved fluorescence spectroscopy, quantum computing and many others.

The aim of this Special Issue is to collect contributions outlining recent advances on single-photon detection instrumentation as well as their building blocks and applications. Papers on single-photon detectors, electronics for photon counting/timing, complete single-photon detection systems and applications are welcomed. Topics of interests include, but are not limited to, the following aspects of single-photon detection:

  • Design, modeling and experimental characterization of detectors, circuits and systems.
  • Fabrication technology, especially for detectors.
  • Packaging and optical coupling.
  • Architectures and algorithms for efficient data processing.
  • Application examples and requirements.

Prof. Dr. Angelo Gulinatti
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Instruments is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) is waived for well-prepared manuscripts submitted to this issue. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Published Papers (1 paper)

View options order results:
result details:
Displaying articles 1-1
Export citation of selected articles as:


Open AccessFeature PaperReview
Silicon Photomultipliers: Technology Optimizations for Ultraviolet, Visible and Near-Infrared Range
Instruments 2019, 3(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/instruments3010015
Received: 24 December 2018 / Revised: 4 February 2019 / Accepted: 7 February 2019 / Published: 12 February 2019
PDF Full-text (2618 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) are single-photon sensitive solid-state detectors that are becoming popular for several applications, thanks to massive performance improvements over the last years. Starting as a replacement for the photomultiplier tube (PMT), they are now used in medical applications, big high-energy physics [...] Read more.
Silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) are single-photon sensitive solid-state detectors that are becoming popular for several applications, thanks to massive performance improvements over the last years. Starting as a replacement for the photomultiplier tube (PMT), they are now used in medical applications, big high-energy physics experiments, nuclear physics experiments, spectroscopy, biology and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) applications. Due to different requirements in terms of detection efficiency, noise, etc., several optimizations have been introduced by the manufacturers; for example, spectral sensitivity has been optimized for visible light, near ultraviolet, vacuum ultraviolet, and near infrared light. Each one of them require specific processes and structural optimization. We present in this paper recent improvements in SiPM performance, owing to a higher cell fill-factor, lower noise, improved silicon materials, and deep trench isolation. We describe issues related to the characterization of analog SiPM, particularly due to the different sources of correlated noise, which have to be distinguished from each other and from the primary pulses. We also describe particular analyses and optimizations conducted for specific applications like the readout of liquid noble gas scintillators, requiring these detectors to operate at cryogenic temperatures. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Single-Photon Detection Instrumentation and Applications)

Figure 1

Instruments EISSN 2410-390X Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top