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What is a Hybrid Detector (HyD)?

Technology of SP8 confocal microscope

A HyD is a sensor for detecting light (photons). It is a compound (hybrid) of two technologies: vacuum tubes, like those used in a photomultiplier tube (PMT), and semiconductor microelectronics, like an avalanche photodiode (APD).

The Hybrid Detector combines essentially the advantages of both approaches. It is fast, shows very little noise, and offers a high dynamic range. For a comparison see references 1, 2, 3, and 4. The HyD is the best suited sensor for most confocal and multiphoton applications.


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Hybrid Detector (HyD): Sensor for detecting light (photons)

A Hybrid Detector has short and even output pulses and is, therefore, faster than standard photomultiplier tubes. It can be operated in analog or photon counting mode, as required.

The high amplification in the first step and the absence of dynodes causes this sensor to virtually show zero noise. Therefore, it is an excellent sensor for very low light applications.

The dynamic range of a Hybrid Detector is much larger than that of an avalanche photodiode and is suitable for standard fluorescence imaging tasks.

The timing of a Hybrid Detector is significantly better than that of a photomultiplier tube. Therefore, Hybrid Detectors are very well suited for fluorescence lifetime imaging (FLIM).

The HyD also exerts very low after pulsing which makes it the best sensor for fluorescence correlation spectroscopy ( FCS ).