OBB Light Detector

Dual Mode, Analog/Photon Counting Photomultiplier Detection System


PMT Detection System

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Dual Mode, Analog/Photon Counting Photomultiplier Detection System

Key Benefits

Tunable illuminator check!
Compact Size
Tunable illuminator check!
Tunable illuminator check!
Operates in Analog or Photon Counting Modes
Tunable illuminator check!
Detection from 185 to 900 nm
Tunable illuminator check!
Complete Package
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LCD display of output signal
Tunable illuminator check!
Easy to Use


For spectroscopy and microscopy experiments in the UV/Vis/NIR region of the spectrum, a photomultiplier tube (PMT) is the ideal detector for quantitative low light level measurements. A PMT is extremely sensitive, with very wide dynamic range so it can also measure high levels of light. PMT’s are also very fast so rapid changes in optical signals can be reliably monitored. As a practical matter, PMTs are durable, long-lived, and economical.

Optical Building Blocks provides a simple, self contained PMT housing that operates in either analog or photon counting modes with the flick of a switch. This ambient PMT housing is ideal for standard side-on PMTs that are used from 185 to 900 nanometers. It has a very low dark count for a non-cooled PMT housing providing a dark count of only ~ 50 to 500 counts per second (cps) depending on the PMT selected.

PMT's are better than photodiodes and APD's for low light detection

Although the quantum efficiency (QE) of a PMT is less than that of a silicon photodiode or avalanche photodiode (APD), a PMT has a much lower limit of low light detection due to the high current amplification (~ 107) of the electron multiplier in the PMT. It is because of this large gain and low noise that a PMT provides significantly better low light sensitivity than a photodiode or APD.

Looking for NIR Detection?

For NIR detection beyond 900 nm please take a look at our CoolOne cooled PMT housing for photomultiplier detection from 185 to 1,200 nm and also our InGaAs detectors for detection from 0.8 to 1.9 μm.

The OBB ambient PMT housing includes the following

PMT check!
On/off switch
PMT check!
Complete analog and photon counting circuitry
PMT check!
Analog or photon counting mode/output switch
PMT check!
Line voltage power supply
PMT check!
High voltage power supply
PMT check!
LCD display of PMT high voltage or measured analog signal
PMT check!
Signal out BNC connection
PMT check!
High voltage adjustment knob
PMT check!
External high voltage control input BNC connection (for optional external control)
PMT check!
RF shielded case
PMT check!
Internal socket for most 1 1/8-inch side-on photomultiplier tubes


OBB’s photomultiplier detection system is very convenient and easy to use. It is built as a complete unit using modern design techniques and components. Everything needed to quantitate the intensity of light is packaged into a compact, attractive housing that attaches conveniently to your experiment. There are no unsightly boxes for power supplies or a multitude of cables tangled on your bench-top. The system incorporates a high voltage supply, all detector electronics, and the controls in a compact, attractive housing that also contains the PMT. You have a choice of standard PMTs to choose from or you can select from any other 1 1/8-inch side-on photomultiplier tubes that operate from -200 to -1,100 Volts DC. The PMT high voltage is shown on a digital display on the housing or you can select to show the actual analog signal from the PMT with just a flip of a switch. The high voltage can be adjusting manually or controlled externally with a signal at the “External Voltage Control” BNC. Power is delivered from an external AC adapter that is included.


OBB has a policy of continuous product development and reserves the right to amend part numbers, descriptions and specifications without prior notice.

More PMT System Information




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Contact OBB

HORIBA Scientific
Optical Building Blocks
3880 Park Avenue
Edison New Jersey

Tel: 732-494-8660
Fax: 732-623-8129