6 May 2015 High-performance timing electronics for single photon avalanche diode arrays
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Time correlated photon counting techniques have been proved to be very effective, especially when very fast and faint optical signals have to be recorded with extremely high precision. Nowadays, a steadily increasing number of applications require not only high performance in terms of photon detection efficiency, time resolution and linearity but also a high number of pixels operating in parallel. In order to combine the features of the most performing detectors and state of art timing electronics, an innovative architecture has been conceived and the main circuits have been designed. The system will employ dense arrays of custom technology Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) detectors, in order to perform a truly concurrent analysis of the sample, while it will have only a small number of acquisition chains with the ultimate purpose of obtaining very high performance while limiting area occupation and power dissipation. To this aim, three main circuits have been designed: first of all, a pick-up circuit capable of directly reading the signal coming from the sensor; secondly, a timing circuit to measure the arrival time of the each photon with picoseconds resolution and very high linearity and finally, a circuit to perform a dynamic binding between the many sensors and the few conversion chains.
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G. Acconcia, G. Acconcia, M. Crotti, M. Crotti, I. Rech, I. Rech, M. Ghioni, M. Ghioni, } "High-performance timing electronics for single photon avalanche diode arrays", Proc. SPIE 9504, Photon Counting Applications 2015, 95040A (6 May 2015); doi: 10.1117/12.2178801; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2178801

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