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Single-photon avalanche diode

About: Single-photon avalanche diode is a research topic. Over the lifetime, 2827 publications have been published within this topic receiving 47013 citations. The topic is also known as: SPAD & Geiger-mode APD.


Papers
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Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a two-stage parallet-plate avalanche chamber of small amplification gap (100 μm) combined with a conversion-drift space is proposed for a gaseous detector.
Abstract: We describe a novel structure for a gaseous detector that is under development at Saclay. It consists of a two-stage parallet-plate avalanche chamber of small amplification gap (100 μm) combined with a conversion-drift space. It follows a fast removal of positive ions produced during the avalanche development. Fast signals (≤1 ns) are obtained during the collection of the electron avalanche on the anode microstrip plane. The positive ion signal has a duration of 100 ns. The fast evacuation of positive ions combined with the high granularity of the detector provide a high rate capability. Gas gains of up to 10 5 have been achieved.

1,156 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
04 Mar 2010-Nature
TL;DR: Nanophotonic and nanoelectronic engineering aimed at shaping optical and electrical fields on the nanometre scale within a germanium amplification layer can overcome the otherwise intrinsically poor noise characteristics, achieving a dramatic reduction of amplification noise by over 70 per cent.
Abstract: A key element in the integration of microprocessor chips with optical communications circuits is a photodetector to mediate the optical and electronic signals. Germanium photodetectors are very attractive in this regard because they are compatible with conventional silicon circuitry, but they suffer from noise that limits their performance. Assefa et al. now show how the poor intrinsic noise characteristics of germanium can be overcome through the careful engineering of optical and electrical fields at the nanometre scale. The result is a compact and efficient photodetector that could enable a range of optoelectronic applications. To integrate microchips with optical communications a photodetector is required to mediate the optical and electronic signals. Although germanium photodetectors are compatible with silicon their performance is impaired by poor intrinsic noise. Here the noise is reduced by nanometre engineering of optical and electrical fields to produce a compact and efficient photodetector. Integration of optical communication circuits directly into high-performance microprocessor chips can enable extremely powerful computer systems1. A germanium photodetector that can be monolithically integrated with silicon transistor technology2,3,4,5,6,7,8 is viewed as a key element in connecting chip components with infrared optical signals. Such a device should have the capability to detect very-low-power optical signals at very high speed. Although germanium avalanche photodetectors9,10 (APD) using charge amplification close to avalanche breakdown can achieve high gain and thus detect low-power optical signals, they are universally considered to suffer from an intolerably high amplification noise characteristic of germanium11. High gain with low excess noise has been demonstrated using a germanium layer only for detection of light signals, with amplification taking place in a separate silicon layer12. However, the relatively thick semiconductor layers that are required in such structures limit APD speeds to about 10 GHz, and require excessively high bias voltages of around 25 V (ref. 12). Here we show how nanophotonic and nanoelectronic engineering aimed at shaping optical and electrical fields on the nanometre scale within a germanium amplification layer can overcome the otherwise intrinsically poor noise characteristics, achieving a dramatic reduction of amplification noise by over 70 per cent. By generating strongly non-uniform electric fields, the region of impact ionization in germanium is reduced to just 30 nm, allowing the device to benefit from the noise reduction effects13,14,15 that arise at these small distances. Furthermore, the smallness of the APDs means that a bias voltage of only 1.5 V is required to achieve an avalanche gain of over 10 dB with operational speeds exceeding 30 GHz. Monolithic integration of such a device into computer chips might enable applications beyond computer optical interconnects1—in telecommunications16, secure quantum key distribution17, and subthreshold ultralow-power transistors18.

563 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: In this paper, a semiconductor diode designed to operate as an oscillator when mounted in a suitable microwave cavity is described and analyzed, and it appears possible to obtain over 20 watts of ac power in continuous operation at 5 kmc.
Abstract: This paper describes and analyzes a proposed semiconductor diode designed to operate as an oscillator when mounted in a suitable microwave cavity. The frequency would be in the range extending from 1 to 50 kmc. The negative Q may be as low as 10 and the efficiency as high as 30 per cent. The diode is biased in reverse so as to establish a depletion, or space-charge, layer of fixed width in a relatively high resistance region, bounded by very low resistance end regions. The electric field has a maximum at one edge of the space-charge region, where hole-electron pairs are generated by internal secondary emission, or avalanche. The holes (or electrons) travel across the space-charge layer with constant velocity, thus producing a current through the diode. Because of the build-up time of the avalanche, and the transit time of the holes across the depletion layer, the alternating current is delayed by approximately one-half cycle relative to the ac voltage. Thus, power is delivered to the ac signal. When the diode is mounted in an inductive microwave cavity tuned to the capacity of the diode, an oscillation will build up. It appears possible to obtain over 20 watts of ac power in continuous operation at 5 kmc.

521 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
TL;DR: Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes (G-APDs) have been developed during recent years and promise to be an alternative to photomultiplier tubes.
Abstract: Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes (G-APDs) have been developed during recent years and promise to be an alternative to photomultiplier tubes. They have many advantages like single photon response, high detection efficiency, high gain at low bias voltage and very good timing properties but some of their properties, the dark count rate for example, can be a problem. Several types of G-APDs are on the market and should be selected carefully for a given application.

484 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
K. G. McKay1
TL;DR: In this article, an avalanche theory of breakdown at room temperature is proposed for semiconductors based on the assumption of approximately equal ionization rates for electrons and positive holes, and it is shown that this noise represents the unstable onset of breakdown and that all of the current flow in the breakdown region can be attributed to the current carried by the noise pulses.
Abstract: An avalanche theory of breakdown at room temperature is proposed for semiconductors based on the assumption of approximately equal ionization rates for electrons and positive holes. The problem of obtaining ionization rates from data obtained in inhomogeneous fields is solved exactly for two specific field distributions. Ionization rates for silicon thus calculated from experimental data on breakdown voltage and on prebreakdown multiplication for both linear-gradient and step junctions are in good agreement. The temperature coefficient of the ionization rate exhibits a similar internal consistency. It is concluded that internal field emission has not been observed in silicon.Detailed observations are reported of the pulse-type noise associated with breakdown. It is shown that this noise represents the unstable onset of breakdown and that, for the junctions studied, all of the current flow in the breakdown region can be attributed to the current carried by the noise pulses.

403 citations


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Performance
Metrics
No. of papers in the topic in previous years
YearPapers
202330
202290
202162
202075
201988
201886