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Low-noise CMOS SPAD arrays with in-pixel time-to-digital converters

: Tosi, Alberto; Villa, Federica; Bronzi, Danilo; Zou, Yu; Lussana, Rudi; Tamborini, Davide; Tisa, Simone; Durini, Daniel; Weyers, Sascha; Paschen, Uwe; Brockherde, Werner; Zappa, Franco


Itzler, M.A. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Advanced Photon Counting Techniques VIII : 7–8 May 2014, Baltimore, Maryland
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2014 (Proceedings of SPIE 9114)
ISBN: 978-1-6284-1051-8
Paper 91140C
Conference "Advanced Photon Counting Techniques" <8, 2014, Baltimore/Md.>
Fraunhofer IMS ()
single photon avalanche diode; SPAD; Einzelphotonennachweis; geringes Rauschen; single photon counting; low noise

We present our latest results concerning CMOS Single-Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) arrays for high-throughput parallel single-photon counting. We exploited a high-voltage 0.35 µm CMOS technology in order to develop low-noise CMOS SPADs. The Dark Count Rate is 30 cps at room temperature for 30 µm devices, increases to 2 kcps for 100 µm SPADs and just to 100 kcps for 500 µm ones. Afterpulsing is less than 1% for hold-off time longer than 50 ns, thus allowing to reach high count rates. Photon Detection Efficiency is > 50% at 420 nm, > 40% below 500 nm and is still 5% at 850 nm. Timing jitter is less than 100 ps (FWHM) in SPADs with active area diameter up to 50 µm. We developed CMOS SPAD imagers with 150 µm pixel pitch and 30 µm SPADs. A 64×32 SPAD array is based on pixels including three 9-bit counters for smart phase-resolved photon counting up to 100 kfps. A 32x32 SPAD array includes 1024 10-bit Time-to-Digital Converters (TDC) with 300 ps resolution and 450 ps single-shot precision, for 3D ranging and FLIM. We developed also linear arrays with up to 60 pixels (with 100 µm SPAD, 150 µm pitch and in-pixel 250 ps TDC) for time-resolved parallel spectroscopy with high fill factor.