Laser Focus World

The Evolution of Single-photon Detection

SLiK APD optimized for single-photon detection

A century of scientific advances is enabling some of the future’s most exciting technologies, including those enabling quantum communications and other applications that are continuing to emerge.

Single-photon detection has become a vital tool in many applications, from single-molecule fluorescence, particle characterization through scattering, and quantum cryptography to astronomy, lidar, and more. The concept appears to be simple in principle—one photon creates one electron in a photodiode or when hitting a metal surface—but how easy is it to detect that single electron?

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