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10 October 2003 InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiode arrays for eye-safe three-dimensional imaging
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We report on recent progress in developing 2-dimensional arrays of InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiodes. Advances in compound semiconductor epitaxy and device processing technologies enable large (128x128) element focal plane arrays with breakdown voltage standard deviations < 0.3%. The uniformity in breakdown voltage simplifies readout integrated circuit designs, in that a single bias voltage may be used for all elements in the array. Each element in the array achieves responsivities greater than 10 A/W at a wavelength of 1550 nm, while maintaining dark currents less than 20 nA. The APD arrays stand to enable new cameras for such applications as three-dimensional imaging, and various other laser radar and communications systems. In particular, the improved responsivity of avalanche photodiodes over their pin photodiode counterparts can improve sensitivities by as much as 6 - 10 dB depending upon the readout integrated circuit bandwidth. So-called "flash" laser radar systems wherein a single high energy laser pulse is used to image a target require the extra sensitivity afforded by avalanche photodiodes due to the low return photon count from distant targets.
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John Christopher Dries, Tara Martin, Wei Huang, Michael J. Lange, and Marshall J. Cohen "InGaAs/InP avalanche photodiode arrays for eye-safe three-dimensional imaging", Proc. SPIE 5074, Infrared Technology and Applications XXIX, (10 October 2003);

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