Infoscience

Journal article

On the Application of a Monolithic Array for Detecting Intensity-Correlated Photons Emitted by Different Source Types

It is not widely appreciated that many subtleties are involved in the accurate measurement of intensity-correlated photons; even for the original experiments of Hanbury Brown and Twiss (HBT). Using a monolithic 4x4 array of single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs), together with an off-chip algorithm for processing streaming data, we investigate the difficulties of measuring second-order photon correlations g((2)) (x', t', x, t) in a wide variety of light fields that exhibit dramatically different correlation statistics: a multimode He-Ne laser, an incoherent intensity-modulated lamp-light source and a thermal light source. Our off-chip algorithm treats multiple photon-arrivals at pixel-array pairs, in any observation interval, with photon fluxes limited by detector saturation, in such a way that a correctly normalized g((2)) function is guaranteed. The impact of detector background correlations between SPAD pixels and afterpulsing effects on second-order coherence measurements is discussed. These results demonstrate that our monolithic SPAD array enables access to effects that are otherwise impossible to measure with stand-alone detectors. (C) 2009 Optical Society of America

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