High concentration factor diffractive microlenses integrated with CMOS single-photon avalanche diode detector arrays for fill-factor improvement

Peter Connolly, Ximing Ren, Aongus McCarthy, Hanning Mai, Federica Vila, Rudi Lussana, Andrew Waddie, M. R. Taghizadeh, Alberto Tosi, Franco Zappa, Robert Henderson, Gerald S. Buller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Large-format single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) arrays often suffer from low fill-factors - the ratio of the active area to the overall pixel area. The detection efficiency of these detector arrays can be vastly increased with the integration of microlens arrays designed to concentrate incident light onto the active areas and may be refractive or diffractive in nature. The ability of diffractive optical elements (DOEs) to efficiently cover a square or rectangular pixel, combined with their capability of working as fast lenses (i.e. f/3) makes them versatile and practical lens designs for use in sparse photon applications using micro-scale, large format detector arrays. Binary mask based photolithography was employed to fabricate fast diffractive microlenses for two 32 32 SPAD arrays of different pitch and fill-factors. A spectral characterisation of the lenses is performed, as well as analysis of performance under different illumination conditions from wide- to narrow-angle illumination (i.e. f/2 to f/22 optics). The performance of the microlenses presented exceeds previous designs in terms of both concentration factor (i.e. increase in light collection capability), and lens speed. Concentration factors greater than 33 are achieved, for focal lengths as short as 190 m, representing a microlens f-number of 3.8 and providing a focal diameter of < 4 m. These results were achieved while retaining an extremely high degree of performance uniformity across the 1024 devices in each case, which demonstrates the significant benefits to be gained by the implementation of DOEs as part of an integrated detector system using SPADs with very small active areas.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4488-4498
Number of pages11
JournalApplied optics
Volume15
Issue number4
Early online date8 May 2020
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 10 May 2020

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