Linear SPAD array for quantum communication
Quantum communication is a fast-growing field that takes advantage of the quantum physics laws to protect and secure sensitive data. This work takes part of the European project UNIQORN (Affordable Quantum Communication for Everyone: Revolutionizing the Ecosystem from Fabrication to Application) whose aim is to develop a Quantum System on Chip (QSoC) for telecom application. The Integrated Circuit (IC) designed contributes in the QRNG block of the system, tailored to communicate with the integrated non-linear optics circuit. Such detector is a 32×1 linear array based on Single-Photon Avalanche-Diode (SPAD) detectors for the generation of a raw random number, by revealing the position on the array of the single photon impinging on it, realized in a BCD 0.16 μm technology. The linear array architecture consists of 32 pixels, pitched at 125 μm, each made by 4 SPADs with different diameter (5 μm, 10 μm, 20 μm, 50 μm). Two operation modes are implemented: Single-Hit Mode, needed to reveal the (5-bit) position of the pixel triggered by a single photon, representing a random number, in a time window synchronous with the laser emission. Multi Hit Mode, used to identify a coincidence of a certain number of photons(more than one, two, three or four) detected within a specified time window, thanks to a multi threshold coincidence detection logic.
Politecnico di Milano (Italy)
Alfonso Incoronato was born in Segrate (Milan, Italy) in 1994. He got his Bachelor degree in Biomedical Engineering in 2016 and the Master degree in Electronics Engineering in 2019, at Politecnico di Milano. Since November 2019 he is a Ph.D. candidate in Information Technology (Electronics) at Politecnico di Milano. His research activity concerns the design of SPADs and SiPM arrays for automotive LiDAR and quantum communication.