An active gain-control system for Avalanche photo-diodes under moderate temperature variations

J. Kataoka*, R. Sato, T. Ikagawa, J. Kotoku, Y. Kuramoto, Y. Tsubuku, T. Saito, Y. Yatsu, N. Kawai, Y. Ishikawa, N. Kawabata

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Avalanche photodiodes (APDs) are a promising light sensor for various fields of experimental physics. It has been argued, however, that variation of APD gain with temperature could be a serious problem preventing APDs from replacing traditional photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) in some applications. Here we develop an active gain-control system to keep the APD gain stable under moderate temperature variations. As a performance demonstration of the proposed system, we have tested the response of a scintillation photon detector consisting of a 5 × 5 mm2 reverse-type APD optically coupled with a CsI(Tl) crystal. We show that the APD gain was successfully controlled under a temperature variation of Δ T = 20 {ring operator} C, within a time-cycle of 6000 s. The best FWHM energy resolution of 6.1 ± 0.2 % was obtained for 662 keV γ-rays, and the energy threshold was as low as 6.5 keV, by integrating data from + 20 {ring operator} C-0 {ring operator} C cycles. The corresponding values for - 20 {ring operator} C-0 {ring operator} C cycles were 6.9 ± 0.2 % and 5.2 keV, respectively. These results are comparable, or only slightly worse than that obtained at a fixed temperature. Our results suggest new potential uses for APDs in various space researches and nuclear physics. As examples, we briefly introduce the NeXT and Cute-1.7 satellite missions that will carry the APDs as scientific instruments for the first time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)300-307
Number of pages8
JournalNuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research, Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Aug 1
Externally publishedYes


  • Avalanche photodiode
  • Gain-control
  • Scintillation detection
  • γ-rays

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nuclear and High Energy Physics
  • Instrumentation


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