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An integrated active-quenching circuit for single-photon avalanche diodes

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5 Author(s)
Zappa, F. ; Dipartimento di Elettronica e Inf., Politecnico di Milano, Italy ; Ghioni, M. ; Cova, S. ; Samori, C.
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We introduce the first integrated active quenching circuit (I-AQC) that drives an avalanche photodiode (APD) above its breakdown voltage, in order to detect single photons. Based on the I-AQC, we developed a compact and versatile photon-counting module suitable for applications in which very weak optical signals have to be detected, as for instance, photon correlation spectroscopy, luminescence measurements, and laser ranging. The prototype photon-counting module features quenching pulses up to 60 V amplitude, minimum dead time of less than 36 ns, corresponding to a saturated counting rate exceeding 25 Mcounts/s, user-controllable hold-off time, for reducing the afterpulsing effect, and nanosecond gating capability. The power dissipation is 60 mW in stand-by conditions, and the module size is less than 1 cm×2 cm

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Instrumentation and Measurement, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:49 ,  Issue: 6 )