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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Analysis of hot-carrier luminescence for infrared single-photon upconversion and readout

  • Author(s): Finkelstein, Hod
  • Gross, Matthias
  • Lo, Yu-Hwa
  • Esener, Sadik
  • et al.

We propose and analyze a new method for single-photon wavelength up-conversion using optical coupling between a primary infrared (IR) single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) and a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) silicon SPAD, which are fused through a silicon dioxide passivation layer. A primary IR photon induces an avalanche in the IR SPAR The photons produced by hot-carrier recombination are subsequently sensed by the silicon SPAD, thus, allowing for on-die data processing. Because the devices are fused through their passivation layers, lattice mismatch issues between the semiconductor materials are avoided. We develop a model for calculating the conversion efficiency-of the device, and use realistic device parameters to estimate up to 97% upconversion efficiency and 33% system efficiency, limited by the IR detector alone. The new scheme offers a low-cost means to manufacture dense IR-SPAD arrays, while significantly reducing their afterpulsing. We show that this high-speed compact method for upconverting IR photons is feasible and efficient.

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