Journal article

A Time-Resolved, Low-Noise Single-Photon Image Sensor Fabricated in Deep-Submicron CMOS Technology

We report on the design and characterization of a novel time-resolved image sensor fabricated in a 130 nm CMOS process. Each pixel within the 32x32 pixel array contains a low-noise single-photon detector and a high-precision time-to-digital converter (TDC). The 10-bit TDC exhibits a timing resolution of 119 ps with a timing uniformity across the entire array of less than 2 LSBs. The differential non-linearity (DNL) and integral non-linearity (INL) were measured at +/- 0.4 and +/- 1.2 LSBs, respectively. The pixel array was fabricated with a pitch of 50 mu m in both directions and with a total TDC area of less than 2000 mu m(2). The target application for this sensor is time-resolved imaging, in particular fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy and 3D imaging. The characterization shows the suitability of the proposed sensor technology for these applications.


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