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Title: Geiger-Mode Avalanche Photodiodes in Standard CMOS Technologies
Author: Vilà i Arbonès, Anna Maria
Arbat Casas, Anna
Vilella Figueras, Eva
Diéguez Barrientos, Àngel
Keywords: Metall-òxid-semiconductors complementaris
Detectors òptics
Complementary metal oxide semiconductors
Optical detectors
Issue Date: 23-Mar-2012
Publisher: IntechOpen
Abstract: Photodiodes are the simplest but most versatile semiconductor optoelectronic devices. They can be used for direct detection of light, of soft X and gamma rays, and of particles such as electrons or neutrons. For many years, the sensors of choice for most research and industrial applications needing photon counting or timing have been vacuum-based devices such as Photo-Multiplier Tubes, PMT, and Micro-Channel Plates, MCP (Renker, 2004). Although these photodetectors provide good sensitivity, noise and timing characteristics, they still suffer from limitations owing to their large power consumption, high operation voltages and sensitivity to magnetic fields, as well as they are still bulky, fragile and expensive. New approaches to high-sensitivity imagers tend to use CCD cameras coupled with either MCP Image Intensifiers, I-CCDs, or Electron Multipliers, EM-CCDs (Dussault & Hoess, 2004), but they still have limited performances in extreme time-resolved measurements. A fully solid-state solution can improve design flexibility, cost, miniaturization, integration density, reliability and signal processing capabilities in photodetectors. In particular, Single- Photon Avalanche Diodes, SPADs, fabricated by conventional planar technology on silicon can be used as particle (Stapels et al., 2007) and photon (Ghioni et al., 2007) detectors with high intrinsic gain and speed. These SPAD are silicon Avalanche PhotoDiodes biased above breakdown. This operation regime, known as Geiger mode, gives excellent single-photon sensitivity thanks to the avalanche caused by impact ionization of the photogenerated carriers (Cova et al., 1996). The number of carriers generated as a result of the absorption of a single photon determines the optical gain of the device, which in the case of SPADs may be virtually infinite. The basic concepts concerning the behaviour of G-APDs and the physical processes taking place during their operation will be reviewed next, as well as the main performance parameters and noise sources.
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It is part of: Chapter 9 in: Gateva, Sanka. 2012. Photodetectors. IntechOpen. ISBN: 978-953-51-4982-8. DOI: 10.5772/2033. pp: 175-204.
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Appears in Collections:Llibres / Capítols de llibre (Enginyeria Electrònica i Biomèdica)

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