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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 20, Iss. 2 — Jan. 16, 2012
  • pp: 1512–1529

New perspective on passively quenched single photon avalanche diodes: effect of feedback on impact ionization

David A. Ramirez, Majeed M. Hayat, Graham J. Rees, Xudong Jiang, and Mark A. Itzler  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 20, Issue 2, pp. 1512-1529 (2012)

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Single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) are primary devices in photon counting systems used in quantum cryptography, time resolved spectroscopy and photon counting optical communication. SPADs convert each photo-generated electron hole pair to a measurable current via an avalanche of impact ionizations. In this paper, a stochastically self-regulating avalanche model for passively quenched SPADs is presented. The model predicts, in qualitative agreement with experiments, three important phenomena that traditional models are unable to predict. These are: (1) an oscillatory behavior of the persistent avalanche current; (2) an exponential (memoryless) decay of the probability density function of the stochastic quenching time of the persistent avalanche current; and (3) a fast collapse of the avalanche current, under strong feedback conditions, preventing the development of a persistent avalanche current. The model specifically captures the effect of the load’s feedback on the stochastic avalanche multiplication, an effect believed to be key in breaking today’s counting rate barrier in the 1.55–μm detection window.

© 2012 OSA

OCIS Codes
(230.5160) Optical devices : Photodetectors
(250.0250) Optoelectronics : Optoelectronics
(250.1345) Optoelectronics : Avalanche photodiodes (APDs)

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: October 11, 2011
Revised Manuscript: December 6, 2011
Manuscript Accepted: December 19, 2011
Published: January 10, 2012

David A. Ramirez, Majeed M. Hayat, Graham J. Rees, Xudong Jiang, and Mark A. Itzler, "New perspective on passively quenched single photon avalanche diodes: effect of feedback on impact ionization," Opt. Express 20, 1512-1529 (2012)

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