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1 February 2002 Development of a near-infrared photon-counting system using an InGaAs avalanche photodiode
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We have successfully developed a near-infrared photoncounting system using an InGaAs avalanche photodiode. By investigating the characteristics of the InGaAs avalanche photodiode in the analog detection mode and the photon-counting mode, we have optimized its operating condition as a photon-counting detector. The multiplication factor shows a maximum at 193 K, and the detection efficiency shows a maximum at 173 K. However, the signal-to-noise ratio shows a maximum at 153 K. On the optimum operating condition, the wide dynamic range of about 50 dB (1.0x 10-16 W to 1.0x 10-11 W) and the minimum detectable power of 100 aW (1.0x 10-16 W) are achieved at 1.5 ?m. The detection efficiency depends on the incident optical power, and 15% for 1 pW is achieved at 1.5 ?m. In the near-infrared range between 0.9 and 1.55 ?m, moderate detection efficiency is obtained. Finally, we have demonstrated a 1.54-?m eye-safe photon-counting lidar using a Raman shifted Nd:YAG laser and the photon-counting system. Some light signals backscattered from clouds and the atmosphere are obtained. The experimental results show that the photon-counting system is very practical and attractive.
©(2002) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Tomoyuki Maruyama, Fumio Narusawa, Makoto Kudo, Mitsuyoshi Tanaka, Yasunori Saito, and Akio Nomura "Development of a near-infrared photon-counting system using an InGaAs avalanche photodiode," Optical Engineering 41(2), (1 February 2002).
Published: 1 February 2002

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