31 January 2014 Integrated electronics for time-resolved array of single-photon avalanche diodes
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Abstract
The Time Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) technique has reached a prominent position among analytical methods employed in a great variety of fields, from medicine and biology (fluorescence spectroscopy) to telemetry (laser ranging) and communication (quantum cryptography). Nevertheless the development of TCSPC acquisition systems featuring both a high number of parallel channels and very high performance is still an open challenge: to satisfy the tight requirements set by the applications, a fully parallel acquisition system requires not only high efficiency single photon detectors but also a read-out electronics specifically designed to obtain the highest performance in conjunction with these sensors. To this aim three main blocks have been designed: a gigahertz bandwidth front-end stage to directly read the custom technology SPAD array avalanche current, a reconfigurable logic to route the detectors output signals to the acquisition chain and an array of time measurement circuits capable of recording the photon arrival times with picoseconds time resolution and a very high linearity. An innovative architecture based on these three circuits will feature a very high number of detectors to perform a truly parallel spatial or spectral analysis and a smaller number of high performance time-to-amplitude converter offering very high performance and a very high conversion frequency while limiting the area occupation and power dissipation. The routing logic will make the dynamic connection between the two arrays possible in order to guarantee that no information gets lost.
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G. Acconcia, M. Crotti, I. Rech, M. Ghioni, "Integrated electronics for time-resolved array of single-photon avalanche diodes", Proc. SPIE 8993, Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices XI, 89932H (31 January 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2041722; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2041722
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