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Proceedings Paper

A view on progress of silicon single-photon avalanche diodes and quenching circuits
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Paper Abstract

Silicon Single-Photon Avalanche-Diodes (SPAD) are nowadays considered a solid-state alternative to Photomultiplier Tubes (PMT) in single photon counting (SPC) and time-correlated single photon-counting (TCSPC) over the visible spectral range up to 1 micron wavelength. SPADs implemented in planar epitaxial technology compatible with CMOS circuits offer the typical advantages of microelectronic devices (small size, ruggedness, low voltage and low power, etc.). Furthermore, they have inherently higher photon detection efficiency, since they do not rely on electron emission in vacuum from a photocathode as PMT, but instead on the internal photoelectric effect. However, PMTs offer much wider sensitive area, which greatly simplifies the design of optical systems; they provide position-sensitive photon detection and imaging capability; they attain remarkable performance at high counting rate and offer picosecond timing resolution with Micro-Channel Plate (MCP) models. In order to make SPADs more competitive in a broader range of SPC and TCPC applications it is necessary to face both semiconductor technology issues and circuit design issues, which will be here dealt with. Technology issues will be discussed in the context of two possible approaches: employing a standard industrial high-voltage compatible CMOS technology or developing a dedicated CMOS-compatible technology. Circuit design issues will be discussed taking into account problems arising from conflicting requirements set by various required features, such as fast and efficient avalanche quenching and reset, high resolution photon timing, etc.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 October 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6372, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques, 63720I (25 October 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.685963
Show Author Affiliations
Sergio Cova, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
MPD Micro-Photon-Devices (Italy)
Massimo Ghioni, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
MPD Micro-Photon-Devices (Italy)
Franco Zappa, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
MPD Micro-Photon-Devices (Italy)
Ivan Rech, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Angelo Gulinatti, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6372:
Advanced Photon Counting Techniques
Wolfgang Becker, Editor(s)

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