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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 16, Iss. 3 — Feb. 4, 2008
  • pp: 2232–2244

Variable-Load Quenching Circuit for single-photon avalanche diodes

Simone Tisa, Fabrizio Guerrieri, and Franco Zappa  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 16, Issue 3, pp. 2232-2244 (2008)

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We present a compact 50 µm×100 µm cell for single-photon detection, based on a new circuitry monolithically integrated together with a 20 µm-diameter CMOS Single-Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD). The detector quenching relies on a novel mechanism based on starving the avalanche current till quenching through a variable-load (VLQC, Variable- Load Quenching Circuit). Fabricated in a standard 0.35 µm CMOS technology, the topology allows a SPAD bias voltage higher than the chip supply voltage to be used. Moreover it preserves the advantages of active quenching circuits, in terms of hold-off capability (from 40 ns to 2 µs) and fast reset (≤2 ns), while maintaining the low avalanche charge (≤1.6 pC/avalanche) and extremely small dimensions of passive quenching circuits. The cell enables the development of large-dimension dense arrays of SPADs, for two-dimensional imaging at the photon counting level with photon-timing jitter better than 40 ps.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(030.5260) Coherence and statistical optics : Photon counting
(040.0040) Detectors : Detectors
(040.5160) Detectors : Photodetectors

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: October 25, 2007
Revised Manuscript: December 7, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: December 8, 2007
Published: February 1, 2008

Simone Tisa, Fabrizio Guerrieri, and Franco Zappa, "Variable-load quenching circuit for single-photon avalanche diodes," Opt. Express 16, 2232-2244 (2008)

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