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8 March 2014 SNR measurements of silicon photomultipliers in the continuous wave regime
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Proceedings Volume 8990, Silicon Photonics IX; 899019 (2014)
Event: SPIE OPTO, 2014, San Francisco, California, United States
We report on our Signal-to-Noise Ratio (SNR) measurements carried out, in the continuous wave regime, at different frequencies and at various temperatures, on a novel class of silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) fabricated in planar technology on silicon p-type substrate. SNR of SiPMs is given by the ratio of the photogenerated current, filtered and averaged by a lock-in amplifier, and the Root Mean Square (RMS) deviation of the same current. In our measurements, we have employed a 10 Hz equivalent noise bandwidth, around the lock-in amplifier reference frequency. The measured noise takes into account the shot noise, resulting from the photocurrent and the dark current, while background light is not present in our setup. We have found that the SNR is independent from frequency in the evaluated range 1 - 100 kHz. Our measurements highlight a quasi-flat trend of the SiPM SNR up to an overvoltage of about 5 V (with respect to the breakdown voltage of 28.0 V). At higher overvoltages (OV), we have observed a SNR decrease, mainly because of the strong increase of the shot noise. We have also performed a comparison between the SiPM and the PhotoMultiplier Tube (PMT) SNR as a function of the temperature of the SiPM package and at different bias voltages. Our results show the outstanding performance of this novel class of SiPMs even without the need of any cooling system. Indeed, their SNR is only a few dBs below the PMT SNR at room temperature. Furthermore, cooling the SiPM at a package cell temperature of 3 °C, it reaches the PMT SNR values at room temperature despite the SiPM is biased in the range 28.7 – 33.5 V, while the PMT has a bias value up to 950 V.
© (2014) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
G. Adamo, D. Agrò, S. Stivala, A. Parisi, C. Giaconia, A. C. Busacca, and G. Fallica "SNR measurements of silicon photomultipliers in the continuous wave regime", Proc. SPIE 8990, Silicon Photonics IX, 899019 (8 March 2014);


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