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Proceedings Paper

Compact 32-channel time-resolved single-photon detection system
Author(s): A. Cuccato; S. Antonioli; A. Gulinatti; I. Labanca; I. Rech; M. Ghioni
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Paper Abstract

Nowadays, many research fields like biology, chemistry, medicine and space technology rely on high sensitivity imaging instruments that allow to exploit modern measurement techniques; among these, Time-Correlated Single-Photon Counting (TCSPC) provides extremely high time resolution. Single-photon detectors play a key role in these advanced imaging systems, and in recent years Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs) have become a valid alternative to Photo Multiplier Tubes (PMTs). Moreover scientific research has recently focused on single photon detector arrays, pushed by a growing demand for multichannel systems. In this scenario, we developed a compact, stand-alone, 32-channel system for time-resolved single-photon counting applications. The system core is represented by a 32×1 SPAD array built in custom technology, featuring high time resolution, high photon detection efficiency (> 45%) and low dark count rate. The SPAD avalanche signal is exported through an integrated inverter which is placed close to the photo detector, this way the avalanche event is detected with high time resolution while achieving negligible crosstalk between adjacent pixels. SPAD proper operation is guaranteed by a 32×1 mixed passive-active quenching circuit (AQC) array built in 0.18 μm HV-CMOS technology; its digital outputs are fed to an FPGA that performs on-board processing of photon counting information. On the contrary, photon timing information is directly extracted from the pixel array and exported in Current Mode Logic (CML) standard. Preliminary experiments have been carried out on the developed system, resulting in a high time resolution (< 60 ps FWHM) and mean dark count rate lower than 8500 counts/s at 25°C.

Paper Details

Date Published: 6 May 2013
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 8773, Photon Counting Applications IV; and Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Transfer and Processing, 877303 (6 May 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2017355
Show Author Affiliations
A. Cuccato, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
S. Antonioli, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
A. Gulinatti, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
I. Labanca, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
I. Rech, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
M. Ghioni, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8773:
Photon Counting Applications IV; and Quantum Optics and Quantum Information Transfer and Processing
Jaromír Fiurásek; Ivan Prochazka; Roman Sobolewski, Editor(s)

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