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InGaAs-GaAs nanowire avalanche photodiodes toward single-photon detection in free-running mode

Farrell, Alan C., Meng, Xiao, Ren, Dingkun, Kim, Hyunseok, Senanayake, Pradeep, Hsieh, Nick Y., Rong, Zixuan, Chang, Ting-Yuan, Azizur-Rahman, Khalifa ORCID: and Huffaker, Diana L. ORCID: 2019. InGaAs-GaAs nanowire avalanche photodiodes toward single-photon detection in free-running mode. Nano Letters 19 (1) , pp. 582-590. 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b04643

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Single-photon detection at near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths is critical for light detection and ranging (LiDAR) systems used in imaging technologies such as autonomous vehicle trackers and atmospheric remote sensing. Portable, high-performance LiDAR relies on silicon-based single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) because of their extremely low dark count rate (DCR) and afterpulsing probability, but their operation wavelengths are typically limited up to 905 nm. Although InGaAs-InP SPADs offer an alternative platform to extend the operation wavelengths to eye-safe ranges, their high DCR and afterpulsing severely limit their commercial applications. Here we propose a new separate absorption and multiplication avalanche photodiode (SAM-APD) platform composed of vertical InGaAs–GaAs nanowire arrays for single-photon detection. Among a total of 4400 nanowires constituting one photodiode, each avalanche event is confined in a single nanowire, which means that the avalanche volume and the number of filled traps can be drastically reduced in our approach. This leads to an extremely small afterpulsing probability compared with conventional InGaAs-based SPADs and enables operation in free-running mode. We show a DCR below 10 Hz, due to reduced fill factor, with photon count rates of 7.8 MHz and timing jitter less than 113 ps, which suggest that nanowire-based NIR focal plane arrays for single-photon detection can be designed without active quenching circuitry that severely restricts pixel density and portability in NIR commercial SPADs. Therefore, the proposed work based on vertical nanowires provides a new degree of freedom in designing avalanche photodetectors and could be a stepping stone for high-performance InGaAs SPADs.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Physics and Astronomy
Publisher: American Chemical Society
ISSN: 1530-6984
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 18 December 2018
Date of Acceptance: 5 December 2018
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2024 19:56

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