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Proceedings Paper

Linear-mode photon counting with the noiseless gain HgCdTe e-APD
Author(s): Jeffrey D. Beck; Richard Scritchfield; Pradip Mitra; William Sullivan III; Anthony D. Gleckler; Robert Strittmatter; Robert J. Martin
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Paper Abstract

A linear mode photon counting FPA using HgCdTe MWIR cutoff e-APDs has been designed, fabricated, and characterized. The broad spectral range (0.4 μm to 4.3 μm) is unique among photon counters, making this a "first of its kind" system spanning the visible to the MWIR. The low excess noise ((F(M) ≈ 1) of the e-APDs allows for robust photon detection while operating at a stable linear avalanche gain in the range of 500 to 1000. The ROIC design included a very high gain-bandwidth product RTIA (3x1011 Ohm-Hz) and a 4 ns output digital pulse width comparator. The ROIC had 16 high bandwidth analog and 16 LVDS digital outputs. The 2x8 array was integrated into an LN2 Dewar with a custom LCC and daughter board design that preserved high bandwidth analog and digital signal integrity. The 2x8 e-APD arrays were fabricated on 4.3 μm cutoff HgCdTe and operated at 84 K. The measured dark currents were approximately 1 pA at 13 V bias where the measured APD gain was 500. This translates to a predicted dark current induced dark count rate of less than 20 KHz. Single photon detection was achieved with a photon pulse SNR of 13.7 above the amplifier noise floor. A photon detection efficiency of 50% was measured at a background limited false event rate (FER) of about 1 MHz. The measured jitter was in the range of 550 ps to 800 ps. The demonstrated minimum time between distinguishable events was less than 10 ns.

Paper Details

Date Published: 13 May 2011
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 8033, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques V, 80330N (13 May 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.886161
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey D. Beck, DRS RSTA, Inc. (United States)
Richard Scritchfield, DRS RSTA, Inc. (United States)
Pradip Mitra, DRS RSTA, Inc. (United States)
William Sullivan III, DRS RSTA, Inc. (United States)
Anthony D. Gleckler, GEOST, Inc. (United States)
Robert Strittmatter, GEOST, Inc. (United States)
Robert J. Martin, Analog/Digital Integrated Circuits, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8033:
Advanced Photon Counting Techniques V
Mark A. Itzler; Joe C. Campbell, Editor(s)

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