Silicon Photomultipliers (SiPMs) are a well-recognized new generation of photon number resolving avalanche photodetectors. Many advantages – a high gain with an ultra-low excess noise of multiplication, multi-pixel architecture, relatively low operating voltage – make SiPMs very competitive in a growing number of applications. Challenging demands of LIDAR applications for a receiver having high sensitivity starting from single photons, superior time-offlight resolution, robustness including surviving at bright light flashes, solid-state compactness and more, are expected to be feasible for the SiPMs. Despite some known drawbacks, namely crosstalk, afterpulsing, dark noise, limited dynamic range, SiPMs are already considered as promising substitutes for conventional APDs and PMTs in LIDAR applications. However, these initial considerations are based on a rather simplified representation of the SiPM as a generic LIDAR receiver described by generic expressions. This study is focused on a comprehensive evaluation of a SiPM potential considering essential features of this new technology, which could affect applicability and performance of SiPMs as LIDAR receivers. Namely, an excess noise due to correlated processes of crosstalk and afterpulsing, are included into account utilizing the well-established framework of analytical probabilistic models. The analysis of SiPM performance in terms of a photon number and time resolution clarifies their competitiveness over conventional APD and PMT and anticipates the development of next SiPM generations.
Sergey L. Vinogradov, "Evaluation of performance of silicon photomultipliers in lidar applications," Proc. SPIE 10229, Photon Counting Applications 2017, 102290L (Presented at SPIE Optics + Optoelectronics: April 25, 2017; Published: 15 May 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2264935.
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