Time-resolved spectroscopy in the presence of noise is challenging. We have developed a new 512 pixel line sensor with 16 single-photon-avalanche (SPAD) detectors per pixel and ultrafast in-pixel time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) histogramming for such applications. SPADs are near shot noise limited detectors but we are still faced with the problem of high dark count rate (DCR) SPADs. The noisiest SPADs can be switched off to optimise signal-to-noiseratios (SNR) at the expense of longer acquisition/exposure times than would be possible if more SPADs were exploited. Here we present detailed noise characterization of our array. We build a DCR map for the sensor and demonstrate the effect of switching off the noisiest SPADs in each pixel. 24% percent of SPADs in the array are measured to have DCR in excess of 1kHz, while the best SPAD selection per pixel reduces DCR to 53+/-7Hz across the entire array. We demonstrate that selection of the lowest DCR SPAD in each pixel leads to the emergence of sparse spatial sampling noise in the sensor.
Neil Finlayson, Andrea Usai, Ahmet T. Erdogan, and Robert K. Henderson, "Noise characterization of a 512 x 16 SPAD line sensor for time-resolved spectroscopy applications," Proc. SPIE 10488, Optical Fibers and Sensors for Medical Diagnostics and Treatment Applications XVIII, 104880F (Presented at SPIE BiOS: January 27, 2018; Published: 13 February 2018); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2290089.
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