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28 April 2010 Progress towards photon counting between 1μm and 1.6μm using silicon with infrared absorbers
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Silicon based avalanche photodiodes (APDs) have exhibited impressive performance over the visible spectrum for more than a decade. Photon counting with these devices has progressed to the level where room-temperature operation and low dark count rates (< 100 Hz) are commonplace. Several commercial enterprises have been established to capitalise on these devices and many niche markets are now serviced by incorporating these devices into suitable systems. This paper describes one approach that allows the performance of silicon based Geigermode avalanche photodiodes (GM-APDs) to be extended into the near-infra-red. The process development is described whereby Ge absorbers are incorporated into adapted silicon APD designs to provide separate absorption and multiplication devices. Simulation results are presented outlining the performance of these devices at wavelengths between 1 μm and 1.6 μm. The performance results from silicon APD designs are presented for visible wavelengths. A silicon-germanium bonding process is described and the challenges presented in developing the hybrid absorber/multiplier structure are detailed. Finally, a summary of appropriate custom application integrated circuits for various applications is discussed.
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Alan P. Morrison, John M. Hayes, Farzan Gity, and Brian Corbett "Progress towards photon counting between 1μm and 1.6μm using silicon with infrared absorbers", Proc. SPIE 7681, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques IV, 76810N (28 April 2010);


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