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Sensors 2016, 16(5), 745; doi:10.3390/s16050745

Compact SPAD-Based Pixel Architectures for Time-Resolved Image Sensors

1
Integrated Radiation and Image Sensors, Fondazione Bruno Kessler, Trento 38123, Italy
2
Department of Industrial Engineering, University of Trento, Trento 38123, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Edoardo Charbon
Received: 7 March 2016 / Revised: 25 April 2016 / Accepted: 16 May 2016 / Published: 23 May 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photon-Counting Image Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3992 KB, uploaded 23 May 2016]   |  

Abstract

This paper reviews the state of the art of single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) image sensors for time-resolved imaging. The focus of the paper is on pixel architectures featuring small pixel size (<25 μm) and high fill factor (>20%) as a key enabling technology for the successful implementation of high spatial resolution SPAD-based image sensors. A summary of the main CMOS SPAD implementations, their characteristics and integration challenges, is provided from the perspective of targeting large pixel arrays, where one of the key drivers is the spatial uniformity. The main analog techniques aimed at time-gated photon counting and photon timestamping suitable for compact and low-power pixels are critically discussed. The main features of these solutions are the adoption of analog counting techniques and time-to-analog conversion, in NMOS-only pixels. Reliable quantum-limited single-photon counting, self-referenced analog-to-digital conversion, time gating down to 0.75 ns and timestamping with 368 ps jitter are achieved. View Full-Text
Keywords: single-photon avalanche diode; SPAD; time-resolved imaging; time-gating photon counting single-photon avalanche diode; SPAD; time-resolved imaging; time-gating photon counting
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Perenzoni, M.; Pancheri, L.; Stoppa, D. Compact SPAD-Based Pixel Architectures for Time-Resolved Image Sensors. Sensors 2016, 16, 745.

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