Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Tiny Avalanche Photodiode Detects Single UV Photons

30.01.2008
In a significant breakthrough, researchers at Northwestern University’s Center for Quantum Devices (CQD) have demonstrated visible-blind avalanche photodiodes (APDs) capable of detecting single photons in the ultraviolet region (360-200 nm).

Previously, photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) were the only available technology in the short wavelength UV portion of the spectrum capable of single photon detection sensitivity. However, these fragile vacuum tube devices are expensive and bulky, hindering true systems miniaturization.

The Northwestern team, led by Manijeh Razeghi, Walter P. Murphy Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Northwestern’s McCormick School of Engineering, became the world’s first to demonstrate back-illuminated single photon detection from a III-nitride photodetector. These back-illuminated devices, based on GaN compound semiconductors, benefit from the larger ionization coefficient for holes in this material. The back-illumination geometry will facilitate future integration of these devices with read-out circuitry to realize unique single-photon UV cameras. Towards that end, the team has already demonstrated excellent uniformity of the breakdown characteristics and gain across the wafer.

The devices are coupled with a quenching circuit and operated under large reverse bias, an arrangement termed in Geiger mode operation. The sensor system presents an effective photocurrent gain greater than 107, single photon detection efficiencies of 23 percent, dark count rates of less than 1 kHz, and no response to visible radiation.

Once optimized, discrete detectors could be combined with the ultraviolet LEDs already pioneered by the Center for Quantum Devices to create an inexpensive detection system capable of identifying the unique spectral fingerprints of a biological agent attack. They can also be paired with UV LEDs to create a new form of non-line of sight UV-communication, secure from remote eavesdropping.

These exciting new results were recently presented at the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) during the Single Photon Detection Workshop hosted by Dr. Matthew Goodman, and held in Arlington, VA on Nov. 27, 2007 and at the SPIE Photonics West Conference held in San Jose, CA on Jan. 19-24, 2008. This work was also published in the July 23, 2007 issue of the journal Applied Physics Letters.

Kyle Delaney | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.northwestern.edu

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life
17.08.2017 | Goldschmidt Conference

nachricht Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors
17.08.2017 | American Institute of Physics

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Fizzy soda water could be key to clean manufacture of flat wonder material: Graphene

Whether you call it effervescent, fizzy, or sparkling, carbonated water is making a comeback as a beverage. Aside from quenching thirst, researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have discovered a new use for these "bubbly" concoctions that will have major impact on the manufacturer of the world's thinnest, flattest, and one most useful materials -- graphene.

As graphene's popularity grows as an advanced "wonder" material, the speed and quality at which it can be manufactured will be paramount. With that in mind,...

Im Focus: Exotic quantum states made from light: Physicists create optical “wells” for a super-photon

Physicists at the University of Bonn have managed to create optical hollows and more complex patterns into which the light of a Bose-Einstein condensate flows. The creation of such highly low-loss structures for light is a prerequisite for complex light circuits, such as for quantum information processing for a new generation of computers. The researchers are now presenting their results in the journal Nature Photonics.

Light particles (photons) occur as tiny, indivisible portions. Many thousands of these light portions can be merged to form a single super-photon if they are...

Im Focus: Circular RNA linked to brain function

For the first time, scientists have shown that circular RNA is linked to brain function. When a RNA molecule called Cdr1as was deleted from the genome of mice, the animals had problems filtering out unnecessary information – like patients suffering from neuropsychiatric disorders.

While hundreds of circular RNAs (circRNAs) are abundant in mammalian brains, one big question has remained unanswered: What are they actually good for? In the...

Im Focus: RAVAN CubeSat measures Earth's outgoing energy

An experimental small satellite has successfully collected and delivered data on a key measurement for predicting changes in Earth's climate.

The Radiometer Assessment using Vertically Aligned Nanotubes (RAVAN) CubeSat was launched into low-Earth orbit on Nov. 11, 2016, in order to test new...

Im Focus: Scientists shine new light on the “other high temperature superconductor”

A study led by scientists of the Max Planck Institute for the Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) at the Center for Free-Electron Laser Science in Hamburg presents evidence of the coexistence of superconductivity and “charge-density-waves” in compounds of the poorly-studied family of bismuthates. This observation opens up new perspectives for a deeper understanding of the phenomenon of high-temperature superconductivity, a topic which is at the core of condensed matter research since more than 30 years. The paper by Nicoletti et al has been published in the PNAS.

Since the beginning of the 20th century, superconductivity had been observed in some metals at temperatures only a few degrees above the absolute zero (minus...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Call for Papers – ICNFT 2018, 5th International Conference on New Forming Technology

16.08.2017 | Event News

Sustainability is the business model of tomorrow

04.08.2017 | Event News

Clash of Realities 2017: Registration now open. International Conference at TH Köln

26.07.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Gold shines through properties of nano biosensors

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

Greenland ice flow likely to speed up: New data assert glaciers move over sediment, which gets more slippery as it gets wetter

17.08.2017 | Earth Sciences

Mars 2020 mission to use smart methods to seek signs of past life

17.08.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>