We have a few different types of PMT modules.
Man, you’re sharp! For some modules, specifically modules with a GaAsP/GaAs photocathode, we have what’s called “PA” type. The P still stands for photon counting as above. The extra A stands for AWESOME. Just kidding, the extra A is a designation that the protection circuit in the module has been changed. The protection circuit monitors the average signal current from the PMT. The GaAsP/GaAs photocathodes are particularly sensitive to high light levels. The protection circuit is put in place so that when the signal output current reaches a specific value (which relates to the amount of light on the photocathode), the PMT voltage shuts down or an alarm goes off. However, we find for some applications (like multiphoton microscopy), it is OK for there to be sudden (and few) high peaks of current. In these cases, we increase the protection circuit current value of the PMT module from ~6uA to ~50uA. We do this because while some sudden pulses may be high, the average current is still low, and therefore the PMT is still safe. So the H7422PA-40, for example, is a PMT module with an increased protection circuit from ~6uA to ~50uA. It takes ~150 ms for the protection circuit to respond; that is turn off the power to the PMT due to excess light input that caused the output current to rise above the threshold (~6uA for the standard type and ~50uA for the A type).
Also, these modules with protection circuits can be modified to not include the protection circuit at all. Please inquire with our engineers to learn more about these options!
D-type sockets contain a resistive divider network needed to distribute the applied high voltage across the PMT dynodes. DP-type sockets also contain this same resistive divider network, in addition to a high voltage power supply built into the socket that transforms low voltage to the high voltage required for the PMT. This allows users to operate the PMT using 5 or 15 volts depending on the model.
Why yes! Hamamatsu also offers PMT assemblies and modules. A PMT assembly integrates both a Hamamatsu PMT and resistive divider network (D-type socket assembly) into one package. They can often come with HA coating, magnetic shielding, or cases or connectors which house the PMT and socket assembly together.
All PMT modules will contain, at least, a PMT, resistive divider network, and high voltage power supply in one package. In addition, there are some module offerings that may also include amplifiers, thermoelectric cooling, and PC interfacing.
Eric Mesa is an Applications Engineer out of NJ, who understands the intricacies of signal-to-noise comparisons. He likes baseball and most other sports, and when it comes to detector selection, he always hits a home run!
Kate Pritchard has gone where no applications engineer has gone before...in managing the newly formed University Support Group. The group is dedicated to supporting our research and academic customers through technical support, collaborations, and face time. Traveling at the speed of light to explore strange and exciting new worlds for Hamamatsu! (See what I did there...)
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