Photon detection is a key factor to study many physical processes in several areas of fundamental physics research. Focusing the attention on photodetectors for particle astrophysics, we understand that we are very close to new discoveries and new results. In order to push the progress in the study of very high-energy or extremely rare phenomena (e.g. dark matter, proton decay, neutrinos from astrophysical sources) the current and future experiments require additional improvements in linearity, gain, quantum e?fficiency and single photon counting capability. To meet the requirements of these classes of experiments, we propose a new design for a modern hybrid photodetector: the VSiPMT (Vacuum
Silicon PhotoMultiplier Tube).
The idea is to replace the classical dynode chain of a PMT with a SiPM, which therefore acts as an electron detector and ampli?er. The aim is to match the large sensitive area of a photocathode with the performances of the SiPM technology. The previous VSiPMT prototypes already showed many attractive features such as low power consumption, weak sensitivity to magnetic fields, excellent photon counting capability and so on.
We now present the results of the full characterization of the latest and largest version achieved up to now, a 2-inches VSiPMT manufactured by Hamamatsu.