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Proceedings Paper

Single-photon imaging inspired by human vision
Author(s): Hooman Mohseni
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Paper Abstract

Single photon detectors are regarded as a key enabling technology in a wide range of medical, industrial, and military applications. However, the existing single photon detectors that can operate at or near room temperature have poor efficiency and high noise. Interestingly, the counterparts of these devices in nature, namely the rod cells, have amazingly high efficiency and low noise. In particular, the noise performance of the rod cells is five to six orders of magnitude better than the semiconductor based single photon detectors at room temperature. At Bio-inspired Sensors and Optoelectronics Laboratory, we explored the origin of such a high noise performance, and designed and implemented a novel semiconductor device based on the underlying detection mechanism in the rod cells. Our device shows very promising properties including orders of magnitude higher gain and lower noise compared with the existing devices. More interestingly, the low operating voltage of the device combined with high gain uniformity should allow, for the first time, realization of large imaging arrays with a high internal gain. Such imagers would open new opportunities for novel applications such as quantum ghost imaging.

Paper Details

Date Published: 14 February 2008
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 6806, Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII, 680604 (14 February 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.784142
Show Author Affiliations
Hooman Mohseni, Northwestern Univ. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6806:
Human Vision and Electronic Imaging XIII
Bernice E. Rogowitz; Thrasyvoulos N. Pappas, Editor(s)

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