Geiger-Mode Avalanche Photodiode Focal Plane Arrays for Three-Dimensional Imaging LADAR


Itzler, M. A., Entwistle, M., Owens, M., Patel, K., Jiang, X., Slomkowski, K., … & Ferraro, J. (2010, August). Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode focal plane arrays for three-dimensional imaging LADAR. In Infrared Remote Sensing and Instrumentation XVIII (Vol. 7808, pp. 75-88). SPIE.


We report on the development of focal plane arrays (FPAs) employing two-dimensional arrays of InGaAsP-based Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes (GmAPDs). These FPAs incorporate InP/InGaAs(P) Geiger-mode avalanche photodiodes (GmAPDs) to create pixels that detect single photons at shortwave infrared wavelengths with high efficiency and low dark count rates. GmAPD arrays are hybridized to CMOS read-out integrated circuits (ROICs) that enable independent laser radar (LADAR) time-of-flight measurements for each pixel, providing three-dimensional image data at frame rates approaching 200 kHz. Microlens arrays are used to maintain high fill factor of greater than 70%. We present full-array performance maps for two different types of sensors optimized for operation at 1.06 μm and 1.55 μm, respectively. For the 1.06 μm FPAs, overall photon detection efficiency of >40% is achieved at <20 kHz dark count rates with modest cooling to ~250 K using integrated thermoelectric coolers. We also describe the first evalution of these FPAs when multi-photon pulses are incident on single pixels. The effective detection efficiency for multi-photon pulses shows excellent agreement with predictions based on Poisson statistics. We also characterize the crosstalk as a function of pulse mean photon number. Relative to the intrinsic crosstalk contribution from hot carrier luminescence that occurs during avalanche current flows resulting from single incident photons, we find a modest rise in crosstalk for multi-photon incident pulses that can be accurately explained by direct optical scattering.

Keywords: avalanche photodiode, single photon detector, photon counting, Geiger-mode, ladar, three-dimensional imaging, InP, InGaAsP

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