A physically based model for evaluating the photon detection efficiency and the temporal response of SPAD detectors

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A. Gulinatti; I. Rech; M. Assanelli; M. Ghioni; S. Cova
accepted for publication in J. Mod. Opt., doi: 10.1080/09500340.2010.536590

After a brief review of the physics of photon detection in single photon avalanche diode (SPAD) devices, in this paper we will outline the principle of operation of a model we developed with the aim of calculating both photon detection efficiency (PDE) and temporal response (TR) of these detectors. Then we will apply the model to the devices currently available in order to critically analyze some experimental results. We will show in particular how the use of the model allows us to gain a better understanding of the influence of each device parameter in determining both the PDE and the TR. Finally we will discuss some modifications that can be applied to the device structure in order to overcome such limitations. Their effectiveness in improving both the PDE and the TR will be investigated by means of the aforementioned model. The aim is to provide the reader with an insight of which performances can be expected in the next few years if a strong development of the SPAD structure is pursued.