Sensors & Detectors


  • Advantages of Point Source Emitters: Application Note

    A Point Source Emitter is similar to a standard LED, however, its well defined circular area (usually 25μm-200μm in diameter) makes it ideal in applications involving encoders, machine vision, medical fiber, and any other application where a precise beam of light is needed. This application note provides background information on Point Source Emitters, and highlights their advantages over standard LEDs.

  • Position Sensitive Detectors

    This application note provides background information on what position sensitive detectors are, how they’re used, their design, common concerns with their spatial resolution, how they compare to CMOS or CCD image sensors, and how they compare to quadrant photodiodes. The integration of three DL400 Position Sensor Detectors (Or PSDs) into the NuStar X-Ray Satellite is also discussed. For that particular project, the PSDs were used for continuous alignment of the telescope’s optics with respect to the sensor unit.

  • Maintenance-Free Hermetic Feedthrough Fiber Pigtailed Electro-Optic Sensor for Rugged Environments
    Maintenance-Free Hermetic Feedthrough Fiber Pigtailed Electro-Optic Sensor for Rugged Environments

    This application note offers a detailed description, features, and more for CMC Electronics’ Hermetic Feedthrough Fiber Pigtailed Electro-Optic Sensor Technology. This electro-optic sensor provides a light and compact solution for applications in harsh environmental conditions that require 100% reliability; such as military and commercial aircraft, oil and gas applications, surface and sub-surface watercraft, and UAV/UAS.

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Custom Integrated Dewar Cooler Assembly (IDCA)

Custom Integrated Dewar Cooler Assembly (IDCA)

At the heart of every infrared camera is the Integrated Dewar Cooler Assembly (IDCA). The design and manufacture of this critical component is a core capability found in only a handful of infrared camera companies throughout the world. IR Cameras custom packaging capabilities cover infrared detectors and other components requiring cryogenic vacuum packaging.

Packaged APD Products - Deschutes BSI™ VFC 1000 Series Reduced Noise APD in Hermetic Packages

Packaged APD Products - Deschutes BSI™ VFC 1000 Series Reduced Noise APD in Hermetic Packages

Voxtel’s reduced excess noise APDs (R-APDs) in hermetic TO-46 or TO-8 packages allow users to easily integrate Voxtel's 950–1700nm APDs into high-performance electro-optical systems. The TO-8 packages allows for a 3-stage thermo-electric (TE) cooler which can provide 100°C temperature differential from ambient (packages rated down to -40°C.) Voxtel’s VFI-1000 R-APDs are designed to deliver the best possible sensitivity for high-bandwidth near infrared (NIR) and short-wavelength infrared (SWIR) optical applications. With low avalanche noise and high quantum efficiency over the 950–1700nm spectral band, including the eye-safe wavelengths above 1400nm, the VFC-1000 In-GaAs R-APDs provide enhanced responsivity relative to PIN photodiodes, with lower noise than conventional NIR APD designs.

High Sensitivity PIN Detector Modules: P-CUBE Series

High Sensitivity PIN Detector Modules: P-CUBE Series

This series of PIN detector modules is ideal for experimenting with low noise silicon or InGaAs pin detectors in applications involving spectroscopy, gas analysis, low-light level detection, power meters, fluorescence detection, optical communications systems, and medical engineering and equipment.

Avalanche Photodiodes with Enhanced NIR Sensitivity – First Sensor´s Series 9

Avalanche Photodiodes with Enhanced NIR Sensitivity – First Sensor´s Series 9

These avalanche photodiodes are optimized for 760-910 nm with QE>80%. Selected chips are also available with a bandpass (BP) filter. The series provides fundamental technology for the development of arrays with multiple individual sensors, ex. 8, 16, or 32 pixels. Optimized for 900 nm, these 8 and 16 Element Avalanche Photodiode Arrays from First Sensor have good uniformity, high-speed, low noise and a low slope multiplication curve.

Pyroelectric Infrared Detectors and Thermopile Sensors in SMD

Pyroelectric Infrared Detectors and Thermopile Sensors in SMD

Excelitas’ newest SMD pyroelectric infrared detectors and SMD thermopile sensors are taking infrared sensing innovation to a whole new level, enabling automated, high-volume production for major sensing applications from intrusion alarm systems, to energy-saving, motion-activated light switches, and even the latest high-tech consumer devices. To meet your design needs, Excelitas’ new SMD designs are available in both digital and analog models.

New, Very Small PIN Module for Radiation Detection

New, Very Small PIN Module for Radiation Detection

First Sensor is expanding its product range in the area of ionizing radiation detection with a radiation detection module that combines a 100 mm² photodiode with an 8 mm CsI:Tl scintillator. The module measures only 17x16x19 mm, detects gamma radiation in the energy range of 150 to 1,500 keV and is optimized for detection of 137Cs. The pulse output allows for very simple integration in instruments used to measure gamma radiation.

Wavelength-Sensitive Photodiodes- WS Series

Wavelength-Sensitive Photodiodes- WS Series

Wavelength-sensitive photodiodes utilize the effect of the wavelength-specific absorption depth of radiation in silicon. First Sensor´s wavelength sensitive photodiode is a unique photo detector with two vertically stacked p-n junctions in the single silicon crystal. One junction is enhanced for blue sensitivity and the other is enhanced for red sensitivity. Such a configuration is particularly useful for the wavelength detection of monochromatic input signals.

CMOS Image Sensors for Real-Time Distance Measurements

CMOS Image Sensors for Real-Time Distance Measurements

These CMOS image sensors have been designed to measure the distance to an object via the Time-Of-Flight (TOF) method. They’re ideal for obstacle detection, shape recognition, motion capture, and security applications because of their ability to measure distances of several meters in real-time.

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    LASER COMPONENTS LASER COMPONENTS is a family-owned business that was founded by Mr. Günther Paul in Germany in 1982. With over 130 employees worldwide, LASER COMPONENTS has specialized in the development, production, and distribution of components and services in the laser and optoelectronics industry.
  • First Sensor AG
    First Sensor AG

    First Sensor AG (Formerly Silicon Sensor) has over 20 years of experience in the development and manufacture of individual sensor solutions offering highest levels of precision and reliability.

  • CMC Electronics
    CMC Electronics Esterline CMC Electronics has achieved an international reputation for innovation and excellence in the design and manufacture of electronics products for the aviation market.

    PIXELTEQ provides OEM spectral sensing and imaging products, patterned optical filters and custom electro-optical devices for a variety of aerospace, biomedical, industrial, scientific and security applications.  At the heart of each multispectral device is an array of pixel-level spectral filters purpose-built for applications.

  • Hamamatsu Corporation
    Hamamatsu Corporation

    Hamamatsu Corporation is the North American subsidiary of Hamamatsu Photonics K.K. (Japan), a leading manufacturer of devices for the generation and measurement of infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light, as well as X-rays.

  • IRCameras

    IRCameras provides the most technologically advanced infrared imaging systems available for scientific, industrial and military applications. In addition to our extensive line-up of standard commercial cameras and IDCAs, we offer custom design and build services to meet unique optical, packaging and space-constrained requirements

    IRCameras is a subsidiary of Santa Barbara Infrared, a long-time leader in the design and manufacture of electro-optical (E-O) test instrumentation. SBIR, in turn, is part of HEICO Corporation, a technology-based aerospace company that’s been engaged in niche market segments within the aerospace, aviation and electronics industries for more than 40 years. Together we are uniquely positioned to advance development of thermal imaging technologies, and to commercialize these technologies for a wide range of applications including:

    • nondestructive testing
    • predictive maintenance
    • online process monitoring and control
    • scientific research
    • target signature
    • security and surveillance

    We offer a range of purchase, rental and lease options, and a full line of accessories including software, data acquisition systems and optics. Our goal is to make your infrared imaging program a complete success. We welcome the opportunity to learn more about your requirements, and to explore how we might be able to assist in creating and supporting the optimal program to meet your particular infrared imaging requirements.

  • Excelitas Technologies
    Excelitas Technologies

    Excelitas Technologies is a global technology leader focused on delivering innovative, customized optoelectronics and advanced electronic systems to a global customer base of leading OEMs seeking high-performance, market-driven technologies.

  • Marktech Optoelectronics
    Marktech Optoelectronics Marktech Optoelectronics is an industry leader in Optoelectronic component technology, products and solutions. Our product engineering and manufacturing staffs continue to develop and introduce high reliability leading edge optoelectronic products to the marketplace.
  • Xenics

    <p> Xenics is a well established and rapidly growing high-tech company about to enter exciting new fields of IR products and applications, serving the markets with excellent products and a strong technology background.</p>

  • Opto Diode Corporation
    Opto Diode Corporation Opto Diode Corporation is a world supplier of reliable, high quality infrared (IR) LEDs and custom LEDs in the visible range. Since 1981, we have produced standard TO-packaging and custom housing LEDs in our U. S. facility in Southern California, maintaining the highest standards with our in-process quality control and testing systems...
  • Voxtel, Inc.
    Voxtel, Inc.

    Voxtel develops truly disruptive technologies that enable our customers to design, build, and deploy next-generation optoelectronic systems. We maintain two divisions: Voxtel Optoelectronics, headquarted in Beaverton, Oregon, and Voxtel Nanophotonics in Eugene, Oregon.

  • Sensors Unlimited - UTC Aerospace Systems
    Sensors Unlimited - UTC Aerospace Systems

    UTC Aerospace Systems (Sensors Unlimited Products), is the world’s leading manufacturer of indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs)-based imaging products. As renowned experts in shortwave infrared (SWIR) imaging, Sensors Unlimited, Inc. introduced the world to the concept of imaging in the shortwave IR spectrum with simple, compact, and uncooled cameras.


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A light sensor is a device senses or detects light. Various available kinds of light sensors and detectors function in different ways to give required results.
Active pixel sensors which are image sensors comprises of an integrated circuit with a number of pixel sensors. Each individual pixel has a light sensor as well as an active amplifier.
Charge-coupled devices (CCD)
These are applied in recording of images in astronomy, digital cinematography and digital photography.
Chemical detectors
A silver halide molecule is split into an atom of metallic silver and a halogen atom; the photographic developer causes adjacent molecules to split similarly. An example is a photographic plate.
Cryogenic detectors
They are sensitive enough to measure and determine the energy of single x-ray, visible and infrared photons.
Optical detectors
They are normally quantum devices where individual photons produces a discrete effect when exposed to light. This makes Optical detectors to behave like thermometers by responding solely to the heating effect of the incoming radiation.
Photo resistors or Light Dependent Resistors (LDR)
They change resistance according to light intensity. The light then can be measured or determined by measuring the resistance.
Photovoltaic cells or solar cells
When Illuminated they produce a voltage and supply an electric current. Which means the level of illumination is directly dependent on the amount of light being supplied.
Photomultiplier tubes
They contain a photocathode that emits electrons when illuminated. A chain of diodes then can be used to amplify the electrons.
Photo tubes
These contain a photo cathode which when illuminated emit electrons making the tube to conduct an electric current that is proportional to the light intensity.
Proximity Sensors
Has two photodiode arrays which convert light into current; one photodiode array responds to ambient light and the other responds only to infrared light; when joined with an infrared LED, this second LED array can operate as a proximity sensor.
Ambient Light Sensing Application
Ambient light sensors are incorporated in various laptops as well as cell phones to detect the lighting in the surrounding environment and appropriately adjust the backlight of the screen.