Monday, November 22, 2021

Review of Ge-on-Si SPADs for SWIR LiDAR

Heriot-Watt University and  University of Glasgow publish Journal of Physics paper "Ge-on-Si single-photon avalanche diode detectors for short-wave infrared wavelengths" by Fiona Thorburn, Xin Yi, Zoe Greener, Jaroslaw Kirkoda, Ross Millar, Laura Huddleston, Douglas J Paul, and Gerald S Buller.

"Germanium-on-Silicon (Ge-on-Si) based single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) have recently emerged as a promising detector candidate for ultra-sensitive and picosecond resolution timing measurement of short-wave infrared (SWIR) photons. Many applications benefit from operating in the SWIR spectral range, such as long distance Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR), however, there are few single-photon detectors exhibiting the high-performance levels obtained by all-silicon SPADs commonly used for single-photon detection at wavelengths < 1 μm. This paper first details the advantages of operating at SWIR wavelengths, the current technologies, and associated issues, and describes the potential of Ge-on-Si SPADs as a single-photon detector technology for this wavelength region. The working principles, fabrication and characterisation processes of such devices are subsequently detailed. We review the research in these single-photon detectors and detail the state-of-the-art performance. Finally, the challenges and future opportunities offered by Ge-on-Si SPAD detectors are discussed."

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