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Proceedings Paper

4 channel, 20 ps resolution, monolithic time-to-amplitude converter for multichannel TCSPC systems
Author(s): Matteo Crotti; Ivan Rech; Ivan Labanca; Massimo Ghioni
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Paper Abstract

Over the past years an always growing interest has arisen about the measurement technique of time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) and many applications exploiting TCSPC have been developing in several fields, such as medicine and chemistry. The use of multianode PMTs and of single photon avalanche diode arrays led to the development of acquisition systems with several parallel channels, to employ the TCSPC technique in even more applications. Since TCSPC basically consists in the photons arrival time measurement, the most important part of an acquisition chain is the time measurement block, which must have high resolution and low differential nonlinearity and, in order to implement multidimensional systems, it has to be integrated to reduce both cost and area. To accomplish all these specifications, we have designed and fabricated a 4 channel fully integrated time-to-amplitude converter (TAC), built in 0.35 μm Si-Ge technology, characterized by a variable full scale range from 11 ns to 89 ns, very good time resolution (better than 20 ps FWHM), low differential nonlinearity (better than 0.04 LSB peak-peak and less than 0.2% LSB rms), high counting rate (16 MHz), low and constant power dissipation (50 mW) and low area occupation (340 × 390 μm2 per channel). Our measurements also show a very little crosstalk between converters integrated on the same chip; this feature together with low power and low area make the fabricated converter suitable for parallelization, so that it can be the starting point for future acquisition chains with a high number of parallel channels.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2012
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 8375, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques VI, 83750I (19 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.919020
Show Author Affiliations
Matteo Crotti, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Ivan Rech, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Ivan Labanca, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Massimo Ghioni, Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Micro Photon Devices (Italy)

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

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