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Smart-pixel with SPAD detector and time-to-digital converter for time-correlated single photon counting

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4 Author(s)
Markovic, B. ; Dip. Elettron. e Inf., Politec. di Milano, Milan, Italy ; Tosi, A. ; Zappa, F. ; Tisa, S.

We present a high precision Time-to-Digital Converter (TDC) architecture suitable for multi-channel implementations such as in monolithic arrays of single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) detectors for time-correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) and LIDAR applications. The proposed architecture is based on a `coarse' counter and two-stage interpolators, thus reaching a high interpolation factor with moderate chip area consumption. A prototype chip has been fabricated in a 0.35 μm standard CMOS technology and contains smart-pixels with the TDC and the 20 μm diameter SPAD detector with its analog sensing and quenching electronics. The 250 μm × 250 μm smart-pixel reaches a resolution of 10 ps and a dynamic range of 160 ns. It is suitable for imaging arrays aimed at photon timing applications like FLIM, FCS, FRET, but also Time-Of-Flight applications like LIDAR.

Published in:

IEEE Photonics Society, 2010 23rd Annual Meeting of the

Date of Conference:

7-11 Nov. 2010