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Proceedings Paper

Cryogenic CMOS avalanche diodes for nuclear physics research
Author(s): Xiao Jie Chen; Erik B. Johnson; Christopher J. Stapels; Chad Whitney; Eric Chapman; Guy Alberghini; Frank Augustine; Rory Miskimen; James F. Christian
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Paper Abstract

Exploration in nuclear physics may require extreme conditions, such as temperatures down to a few Kelvin, high magnetic fields of several Tesla, or the small physical dimensions of a few centimeters. As a standard technique for radiation detection using scintillation materials, it is desirable to develop photodetectors that can operate under these harsh conditions. Though photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) have been used for most applications for readout of scintillation materials, they are bulky, highly susceptible to magnetic fields, and present a large heat load in cryogenic environments. Avalanche photodiodes are a reasonable alternative to PMTs in that they are extremely compact and less susceptible to magnetic fields. Avalanche photodiodes have been developed in a commercial CMOS process for operation at temperatures below 100 Kelvin. Here we present the overall operation of the photodiodes at 5 Kelvin. The diodes show a quantum efficiency of at least 30% at 532 nm at 5 Kelvin. At about 30 Kelvin, the diodes exhibit an internal resistive term, which generates a second breakdown point. The prototype diode shows a proportional response to the intensity of light pulses down to 150 detected photons with a hole to electron ionization ratio, k, of 2.3x10-13 at 5 Kelvin. The properties of the photodiodes and the readout electronics will be discussed for general photon detection below 100 K.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 September 2011
PDF: 17 pages
Proc. SPIE 8142, Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XIII, 81420O (27 September 2011); doi: 10.1117/12.893885
Show Author Affiliations
Xiao Jie Chen, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Erik B. Johnson, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Christopher J. Stapels, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Chad Whitney, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Eric Chapman, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Guy Alberghini, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)
Frank Augustine, Augustine Engineering (United States)
Rory Miskimen, Univ. of Massachusetts Amherst (United States)
James F. Christian, Radiation Monitoring Devices, Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8142:
Hard X-Ray, Gamma-Ray, and Neutron Detector Physics XIII
Larry A. Franks; Ralph B. James; Arnold Burger, Editor(s)

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