SiPM for Time Domain NIR Spectroscopy

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 IEEE JSSC publishes an open-access paper "Large-Area, Fast-Gated Digital SiPM With Integrated TDC for Portable and Wearable Time-Domain NIRS" by Enrico Conca, Vincenzo Sesta, Mauro Buttafava, Federica Villa, Laura Di Sieno, Alberto Dalla Mora, Davide Contini, Paola Taroni, Alessandro Torricelli, Antonio Pifferi, Franco Zappa , and Alberto Tosi from Politecnico di Milano.

"We present the design and characterization of a large-area, fast-gated, all-digital single-photon detector with programmable active area, internal gate generator, and time-to-digital converter (TDC) with a built-in histogram builder circuit, suitable for performing high-sensitivity time-domain near-infrared spectroscopy (TD-NIRS) measurements when coupled with pulsed laser sources. We used a novel low-power differential sensing technique that optimizes area occupation. The photodetector is a time-gated digital silicon photomultiplier (dSiPM) with an 8.6-mm 2 photosensitive area, 37% fill-factor, and ~300 ps (20%–80%) gate rising edge, based on low-noise single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) and fabricated in 0.35- μm CMOS technology. The built-in TDC with a histogram builder has a least-significant-bit (LSB) of 78 ps and 128 time-bins, and the integrated circuit can be interfaced directly with a low-cost microcontroller with a serial interface for programming and readout. Experimental characterization demonstrated a temporal response as good as 300-ps full-width at half-maximum (FWHM) and a dynamic range >100 dB (thanks to the programmable active area size). This microelectronic detector paves the way for a miniaturized, stand-alone, multi-wavelength TD-NIRS system with an unprecedented level of integration and responsivity, suitable for portable and wearable systems."

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