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Avalanche photodiodes target bioterrorism agents
Date:8/10/2008

g a more advanced structure capable of operating as a Geiger-mode detector, so that the photodiodes are sensitive enough to detect only one photon at a time. When the Geiger-mode detector is connected to the avalanche circuitry, a single electron-hole pair can trigger a strong avalanche current to flow from just one photon.

Yoder, who works on Georgia Tech's Savannah, Ga. campus, is developing computer models of the new photodiodes to calculate the detailed electronic and optical transport. Yoder's goal is to optimize the materials and design of the Geiger-mode avalanche detector to assure optimal, reproducible performance of the avalanche photodiodes.

"Doug's work is pivotal because these applications don't require one working detector, they might require thousands of uniform detectors in the same chip that all function the same way, so our ability to manufacture identical photodiodes and detectors is important," said Dupuis.

With proper manufacturing, these avalanche photodiodes can be used for more than detecting bioterrorism agents. They can also be used detect fires, gun muzzle flashes, missile propulsion flames and maybe even cancer cells, according to Dupuis.


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Contact: Abby Vogel
avogel@gatech.edu
404-385-3364
Georgia Institute of Technology Research News
Source:Eurekalert  

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