In short

SPAD23 is a detector array with 23 hexagonally packed single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) with best-in-class performance. It features both the capability of direct photon-counting and photon-time tagging to enable a wide range of single-photon detection applications.
SPAD23 single-photon (photon-counting) detector array

Key benefits

Point detector

Ideal point detector

SPAD23 is the ideal solution for a confocal scanning setup. Each pixel can act as a virtual pinhole, increasing resolution and contrast.

Wide detection spectra

Wide detection spectra and low noise

Our single-photon detectors are fabricated in a state-of-the-art CMOS process and offer an ultra-low dark count rate of less than 100 cps. Microlenses enhance the detection with a peak detection efficiency of over 45%.

Timing resolution

High timing resolution

Real-time processing of photon events occurs in a field-programmable gate array. The detector can process up to 180 Mcps over the whole array. Time-to-digital converters per pixel enable a fine timing resolution down to 20 ps with at a maximum photon flux of 70 Mcps.


Plug and Play

The system requires just a 5V power adapter and USB3 cable to run. For full flexibility, 4 additional control lines can be connected to the SMA connectors. The SM1 optical port, the M2.5 and the M4 screw mounting positions offer a flexible integration into an existing optical setup.


SPAD23 integration

System integration

The detector is bundled with an intuitive software interface. The software gives easy access to all functionalities offered by our detectors, allows for fast prototyping and makes acquiring single-photon data easier than ever. For the advanced users, we offer full remote control through a standard TCP/IP interface. This enables the user to take full control of the system from any TCP/IP capable software package, such as Matlab, Octave, Labview and Python.

SPAD23 superres


Thanks to its 23 pixels arranged in a hexagonal fashion, our detector is an ideal candidate to complement a scanning microscope. It enables both the ability to generate super-resolution images beyond lights diffraction limits and timestamp individual photons to generate fluorescence lifetime images. Other applications include characterization of single-photon sources and the study of quantum properties.

SPAD23 applications


To showcase real life examples of our detector in various applications, we refer to our applications page.

SPAD23 applications

Typical specifications

Standard system TDC system
Array size 23 pixels
Peak detection probability 55% @ 520 nm
Wavelength window 400—950 nm
Fill factor (collimated light) >80%
Median dark count rate <100 cps
Maximum pixel count rate 7.8 Mcps
Maximum system bandwidth (USB-3) 3 Gbps
Maximum photon throughput
(counting mode)
180 Mcps
Maximum photon throughput
(timing mode)
70 Mcps
Timing resolution 10 ns 20 ps
Timing synchronous to internal clock laser clock
Power consumption <1 W <2 W
External SMA triggers dwell clock
line clock
frame clock
dwell clock
line clock
frame clock
laser clock
Peltier cooling
Protective glass window
Robust metal enclosure