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Photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are extensively used in fields such as medical diagnosis and equipment, industrial measurement and scientific research. The followings are the major applications of photomultiplier tubes.

1. High-Energy Physics Experiment:

Photomultiplier tubes are widely used as detectors in high-energy physics experiments. It has been used for Collision experiments, neutrino observation experiment, For example, PMTs are essential to Daya Bay Reactor Neutrino Experiment for data collection. The basic theory is when a charged particle passes through a scintillator, a light flash is given off in accordance with the particle energy. Detecting this light flash makes it possible to measure the energy, speed and direction of the charged particle.

2. Spectrophotometry:

Photomultipliers are used as the detector in many spectrophotometers. This allows an instrument design that escapes the thermal noise limit on sensitivity, and which can therefore substantially increase the dynamic range of the instrument. In chemistry, spectrophotometry is the quantitative measurement of the reflection or transmission properties of a material as a function of wavelength. It is more specific than the general term electromagnetic spectroscopy in that spectrophotometry deals with visible light, near-ultraviolet, and near-infrared, but does not cover time-resolved spectroscopic techniques. Spectrophotometry involves the use of a spectrophotometer. A spectrophotometer is a photometer that can measure intensity as a function of the light source wavelength. Important features of spectrophotometers are spectral bandwidth and linear range of absorption or reflectance measurement.

3. Medical Equipment:

Photomultipliers are used in numerous medical equipment designs. For example:blood analysis devices used by clinical medical laboratories, such as flow cytometers, utilize photomultipliers to determine the relative concentration of various components in blood samples, in combination with optical filters and incandescent lamps. One of most widely used medical equipment is Positron emission tomography (PET) Positron emission tomography (PET) is a nuclear medicine imaging technique that produces a three-dimensional image or picture of functional processes in the body. The system detects pairs of gamma rays emitted indirectly by a positron-emitting radionuclide (tracer), which is introduced into the body on a biologically active molecule. Three-dimensional images of tracer concentration within the body are then constructed by computer analysis. In modern scanners, three-dimensional imaging is often accomplished with the aid of a CT X-ray scan performed on the patient during the same session, in the same machine.

4. Industrial Applications:

Photomultiplier tubes also could be used in industrial field, one of most essential utilization is in oil-well logging. In exploratory drilling, a bore-hole probe containing a γ-ray or neutron source and a scintillation detector can aid in assessing the probability of hydrocarbon deposits. The detector is shielded from the direct radiation of the source and responds only to Compton scattering from the walls of the bore-hole. By analyzing the variations in count rate as the probe descends, an experienced operator can draw valuable conclusions about the structure and composition of the successive geological strata.

5. Biotechnology:

Biotechnology (sometimes shortened to "biotech") is generally accepted as the use of living systems and organisms to develop or make useful products. For thousands of years, humankind has used biotechnology in agriculture, food production and medicine. The term itself is largely believed to have been coined in 1919 by Hungarian engineer Karl Ereky. In the late 20th and early 21st century, biotechnology has expanded to include new and diverse sciences such as genomics,recombinant gene technologies, applied immunology, and development of pharmaceutical therapies and diagnostic tests. PMT could be used for Confocal laser microscopes and DNA sequences.

Reference:

http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Special%3ASearch&profile=default&search=Oil+Well+Logging&fulltext=Search
http://dayawane.ihep.ac.cn/pubtalk/APS_PMT_WeiliZhong.pdf
http://www2.pv.infn.it/~debari/doc/Flyckt_Marmonier.pdf