Wednesday 14 April; Delft, Edoardo Charbon, 'CMOS Single-Photon Imagers'



Location: Room E

Time: 16:00 hrs

Why do we care about detecting single energy quanta, particularly single photons? This field of study is not as exotic as the title suggests. Understanding how to sense and model macroscopic phenomena using the quantum paradigm has enabled breakthroughs in a number of disciplines from computer vision to telecommunications, but it has an even greater potential in physics, medical, and bio-imaging.

With the integration of Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs) in CMOS technology, the design of scalable single-photon imagers has become possible. SPAD pixels exhibit high sensitivity, dynamic range and low jitter, thus enabling new applications. Moreover, due to the digital nature of SPAD detectors, imager architectures may be significantly simplified with the elimination of traditional components such as amplifiers, sample&holds, and analog-to-digital converters, as well as complex readout schemes and 1/f or FPN suppression techniques.

In this talk we discuss SPAD based sensors and the architectural challenges posed by the quantum paradigm in CMOS integrated circuits. We introduce basic solid-state physics underlying SPADs and we discuss several modeling issues. We present recent developments and future research directions, focusing on bioimaging. We also outline ideas in emerging fields for the characterization of next generation sensors.