Canon & EPFL Report Performance of the World’s Smallest 2.2um SPAD Pixel

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Canon and EPFL publish OSA Optics Express paper "High fill-factor miniaturized SPAD arrays with a guard-ring-sharing technique" by Kazuhiro Morimoto and Edoardo Charbon.

"We present a novel guard-ring-sharing technique to push the limit of SPAD pixel miniaturization, and to demonstrate the operation of SPAD arrays with a 2.2 µm-pitch, the smallest ever reported. Device simulation and preliminary tests suggest that the optimized device design ensures the electrical isolation of SPADs with guard-ring sharing. 4×4 SPAD arrays with two parallel selective readout circuits are designed in 180 nm CMOS technology. SPAD characteristics for the pixel pitch of 2.2, 3, and 4 µm are systematically measured as a function of an active diameter, active-to-active distance, and excess bias. For a 4 µm-pitch, the fill factor is 42.4%, the maximum PDP 33.5%, the median DCR 2.5 cps, the timing jitter 88 ps, and the crosstalk probability is 3.57%, while the afterpulsing probability is 0.21%. Finally, we verified the feasibility of the proposed technique towards compact multi-megapixel 3D-stacked SPAD arrays."

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