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A CMOS SPAD Line Sensor with per-pixel Histogramming TDC for Time-Resolved Multispectral Imaging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1705-1719
Number of pages15
JournalIEEE Journal of Solid-State Circuits
Issue number6
Early online date8 Feb 2019
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jun 2019


A 512 × 16 single photon avalanche diode (SPAD)based line sensor is designed in a 0.13-μm CMOS image sensor technology for time-resolved multispectral beam scanned imaging. The sensor has 23.78-μm pixel pitch and incorporates one SPAD array with 49.31% fill factor optimized for detection in the blue-green spectral region, and a second array at 15.75% fill factor optimized for the red-near-infrared response spectral region. Each pixel contains a 32-bin histogramming time-to-digital converter (TDC) with a mean time resolution of 51.20 ps. Histogram bin resolutions are adjustable from 51.20 ps to 6.55 ns per bin. The line sensor can operate in single photon counting (SPC) mode (102.1 giga-events/s), timecorrelated SPC (TCSPC) mode (192.4 million-events/s) or on-chip histogramming mode (16.5 giga-events/s), increasing the count rate up to 85 times compared to TCSPC mode. Sensor capability is demonstrated through spectral fluorescence lifetime imaging, resolving three fluorophore populations with distinct fluorophore lifetimes.

    Research areas

  • Photonics, Histograms, system-on-chip, Optical Imaging, Optical sensors, CMOS, fluorescence lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), Histogramming, single photon avalanche diode, Single photon counting, Time-correlated single-photon counting (TCSPC), time-resolved spectroscopy

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