Germanium on silicon single photon avalanche detectors

Kirdoda, Jaroslaw (2019) Germanium on silicon single photon avalanche detectors. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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In recent years there has been an increased demand in both the civilian and military sectors for high performance single photon detectors. With potential uses in LIDAR technologies, quantum key distribution and remote gas sensing, various single-photon detection techniques have been developed. There has been a significant lack of technologies, however, that would cover a demand for low cost, robust, eye safe, short-wave infrared region (SWIR) sensitive devices. Wavelengths between 1310 nm and 1550 nm are especially interesting for the quantum communications and rangefinding. The lower photon energy at these wavelengths compared to the visible enable a twenty-fold increase in laser source power while still remaining eye safe. Additionally, operating at wavelengths close to 1550 nm provides the best atmospheric penetration length in various hostile environmental conditions, including rain, snow, fog, smoke and haze. Such detectors could prove crucial for realizing concepts like self-driving cars and autonomous vehicles and are essential for quantum communications and SWIR quantum optics applications. Cryogenic operating temperatures, high rates of afterpulsing, and high manufacturing prices are among many other obstacles preventing existing technologies from mass market penetration.
In this thesis I will present single photon avalanche detectors (SPADs) operating with a separate Ge absorber and a Si multiplication structure fabricated using a CMOS process. This structure was chosen in order to utilize Ge absorption at wavelengths up to 1600 nm at 300 K and the ability to grow high quality Si multiplication region with few trap states. The present devices demonstrate an order of magnitude higher single photon detection efficiency (SPDE) and 3 orders of magnitude lower dark count rates (DCR) than previously reported Ge on Si SPAD devices and can still provide Geiger mode single photon detection up to 175 K.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Additional Information: Supported by funding from Defence Science and Technology Laboratory.
Keywords: Ge on Si, SPAD, LIDAR, SWIR, rangefinding, SACM, CMOS.
Subjects: Q Science > Q Science (General)
T Technology > TK Electrical engineering. Electronics Nuclear engineering
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Paul, Professor Douglas J. and Buller, Professor Gerald S.
Date of Award: 2019
Embargo Date: 25 April 2022
Depositing User: Mr. Jaroslaw Kirdoda
Unique ID: glathesis:2019-41110
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 25 Apr 2019 10:23
Last Modified: 15 Jul 2019 11:45

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