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Proceedings Paper

Linear photon-counting with HgCdTe APDs
Author(s): Gautier Vojetta; Fabrice Guellec; Lydie Mathieu; Kevin Foubert; Philippe Feautrier; Johan Rothman
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Paper Abstract

Proportional photon detection has been demonstrated using linear mode HgCdTe avalanche photodiodes (APDs) hybridized on a specially designed read-out integrated circuit (ROIC). The ROIC was designed to detect photons at a moderate bandwidth (10 MHz) with a low noise of 10 electrons per characteristics time of the ROIC and to be compatible with large area-small pixel focal plane array (FPA) applications. Proportional photon counting was demonstrated by reproducing the Poisson statics for average photon number states ranging between m=0.8 to 8 photons, at low to moderate avalanche gains M=40-200, using both mid-wave infrared (MWIR) and (short-wave infrared) SWIR HgCdTe APDs. The probability distribution function of the gain was estimated from the analysis of the amplitude of detected residual thermal photons in the MWIR APDs. The corresponding probability distribution functions was characterized by a low excess noise factor F and high asymmetry which favours a high photon detection efficiency (PDE), even at high threshold values. An internal PDE of 90 % was estimated at a threshold level of 40 % of the average signal for a single photon. The dark count rate (DCR) was limited by residual thermal photons in the MWIR APD to about 1 MHz. A geometrical and spectral filtering of this contribution is important to achieve the ultimate performance with MWIR detectors. In this case, the DCR was estimated by interpolation to about 8 kHz. The SWIR HgCdTe APD device had a lower residual photon flux (60 kHz), but was found to be limited by tunnelling dark current noise at high gains at a rate of 100 kHz.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 May 2012
PDF: 18 pages
Proc. SPIE 8375, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques VI, 83750Y (22 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.921869
Show Author Affiliations
Gautier Vojetta, CEA-LETI (France)
Fabrice Guellec, CEA-LETI (France)
Lydie Mathieu, CEA-LETI (France)
Kevin Foubert, CEA-LETI (France)
Philippe Feautrier, IPAG (France)
Johan Rothman, CEA-LETI (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8375:
Advanced Photon Counting Techniques VI
Mark A. Itzler, Editor(s)

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