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Proceedings Paper

Investigation of linear-mode photon-counting HgCdTe APDs for astronomical observations
Author(s): Marta L. Bryan; George Chapman; Donald N. B. Hall; Michael D. Jack; Shane M. Jacobson; Justin Wehner
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Paper Abstract

The unique linear avalanche properties of HgCdTe preserve the Poisson statistics of the incoming photons, opening up new opportunities for GHz bandwidth LADAR and space communications applications. Raytheon has developed and previously reported (1) unique linear mode photon counting arrays based on combining advanced HgCdTe linear mode APDs with their high gain SB415B readout. Their use of HgCdTe APDs preserves the Poisson statistics of the incoming photons, enabling (noiseless) photon counting. This technology is of great potential interest to infrared astronomy but requires extension of noiseless linear HgCdTe avalanching down to much lower bandwidths (100 to 0.001 Hz) with corresponding reductions in dark count rate. We have hybridized the SB415B readout to SWIR HgCdTe APDs optimized for low dark count rate and have characterized their photon counting properties at bandwidths down to 1 KHz. As bandwidth is reduced, the performance becomes limited by the intrinsic properties of the SB415B readout, particularly readout glow, stability and 1/f noise. We report the results of these measurements and the status of hybrid arrays utilizing a newly developed readout which draws on Raytheon’s astronomical readout heritage, specifically the Virgo charge integrating source follower, as a path to much lower dark count rate photon counting operation.

Paper Details

Date Published: 25 September 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8453, High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy V, 84532F (25 September 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.927268
Show Author Affiliations
Marta L. Bryan, Institute for Astronomy, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
George Chapman, Raytheon Vision Systems (United States)
Donald N. B. Hall, Institute for Astronomy, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
Michael D. Jack, Raytheon Vision Systems (United States)
Shane M. Jacobson, Institute for Astronomy, Univ. of Hawai'i (United States)
Justin Wehner, Raytheon Vision Systems (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8453:
High Energy, Optical, and Infrared Detectors for Astronomy V
Andrew D. Holland; James W. Beletic, Editor(s)

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