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64x48 pixel backside illuminated SPAD detector array for LiDAR applications

: Ruskowski, Jennifer; Thattil, Charles; Drewes, Jan H.; Brockherde, Werner


Razeghi, M. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Quantum Sensing and Nano Electronics and Photonics XVII : 1-6 February 2020, San Francisco, California
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2020 (Proceedings of SPIE 11288)
Paper 1128805, 11 S.
Conference "Quantum Sensing and Nano Electronics and Photonics" <17, 2020, San Francisco/Calif.>
Fraunhofer IMS ()
single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD); light detection and ranging (LIDAR); Time-of-Flight (ToF); 3D-Integration; backside-illuminated SPADs; time-to-digital converter

LiDAR sensors in applications like autonomous driving, human-robot-collaboration, or logistics have to be robust, lowcost, and reliable. While several LiDAR architectures and methods are currently tested in the field, the improvement of individual system components, including photon detectors and laser sources, are part of ongoing scientific work. The detector presented here is a CMOS integrated SPAD (single photon avalanche diodes) array device employing a new groundbreaking technology. Backside illuminated SPADs are fabricated and bonded wafer-to-wafer onto a smart ROIC (read-out IC), combining state-of-the-art circuitry and algorithms in a single device. With 64x48 pixels the novel detector test vehicle paves the way for near-future LiDAR devices. The detector comprises a state-of-the-art time-to-digital converter (TDC) architecture for accurate time-of-flight (ToF) measurements with one TDC shared among 4 pixels. The TDC provides a time resolution of 312.5 ps and has a measurement range up to 192 m. Furthermore, the sensor supports switching of the acquisition modes between timing, counting, and time gating modes. The integrated background-light rejection algorithm, presented earlier in a previous device, allows about 66% higher maximum measurement ranges in environments with a high level of ambient light.