Tuesday, April 13, 2021

High Speed Counting SPADs

Phys.org: NIST publishes an Applied Physics Letters paper "Low-noise photon counting above 100 × 106 counts per second with a high-efficiency reach-through single-photon avalanche diode system" by Michael A. Wayne, Joshua C. Bienfang, and Alan L. Migdall.

"We demonstrate a method that allows a high-efficiency single-photon-avalanche diode (SPAD) with a thick absorption region (>10 μm) to count single photons at rates significantly higher than previously demonstrated. We apply large (>30 V) AC bias gates to the SPAD at 1 GHz and detect minute avalanches with a discrimination threshold of 5(1) mV by means of radio frequency interferometry. We measure a reduction by a factor of ≈500 in the average charge per avalanche when compared to operation in its traditional active-quenching module and a relative increase in >19% in detection efficiency at 850 nm. The reduction in charge strongly suppresses self-heating effects in the diode that can degrade performance at high avalanche rates. We show that the single-photon detection system maintains high efficiency at count rates exceeding 1e8 s−1."

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