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Sensors 2016, 16(7), 1122; doi:10.3390/s16071122

Single Photon Counting Performance and Noise Analysis of CMOS SPAD-Based Image Sensors

1
STMicroelectronics Imaging Division, Pinkhill, Edinburgh EH12 7BF, UK
2
CMOS Sensors and Systems Group, School of Engineering, The University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh EH9 3JL, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Eric R. Fossum
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 4 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 July 2016 / Published: 20 July 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Photon-Counting Image Sensors)
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Abstract

SPAD-based solid state CMOS image sensors utilising analogue integrators have attained deep sub-electron read noise (DSERN) permitting single photon counting (SPC) imaging. A new method is proposed to determine the read noise in DSERN image sensors by evaluating the peak separation and width (PSW) of single photon peaks in a photon counting histogram (PCH). The technique is used to identify and analyse cumulative noise in analogue integrating SPC SPAD-based pixels. The DSERN of our SPAD image sensor is exploited to confirm recent multi-photon threshold quanta image sensor (QIS) theory. Finally, various single and multiple photon spatio-temporal oversampling techniques are reviewed. View Full-Text
Keywords: single photon avalanche diode; SPAD; CMOS image sensor; CIS; single photon counting; SPC; quanta image sensor; QIS; spatio-temporal oversampling single photon avalanche diode; SPAD; CMOS image sensor; CIS; single photon counting; SPC; quanta image sensor; QIS; spatio-temporal oversampling
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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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MDPI and ACS Style

Dutton, N.A.W.; Gyongy, I.; Parmesan, L.; Henderson, R.K. Single Photon Counting Performance and Noise Analysis of CMOS SPAD-Based Image Sensors. Sensors 2016, 16, 1122.

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