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A compact system for counting and time-tagging single photons is presented, based on a monolithic array sensor of 60 pixels able to detect single photons, namely the single-photon avalanche diode array (SPADA). First, the working principle and performance of the single-photon detector pixel is detailed, with particular attention paid to monolithic array integration. Then the electronics needed to quench each pixel after avalanche ignition, namely the active-quenching circuit (AQC) is discussed, since the features of this quenching electronics dramatically affect the operating conditions of the detector, hence its actual performance. The discussion then focuses on integration of the SPADA system into Astrophysics applications such as adaptive optics, fast-transient imaging and atmospheric layer sensing. The whole electronics necessary to control SPADA operating conditions and temperature is also described …
Taylor & Francis Group
Publication date: 
20 Jan 2007

Franco Zappa, Simone Tisa, Sergio Cova, P Maccagnani, Roberto Saletti, Roberto Roncella, Federico Baronti, D Bonaccini Calia, A Silber, G Bonanno, M Belluso

Biblio References: 
Volume: 54 Issue: 2-3 Pages: 163-189
Journal of Modern Optics