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Development of 3D Single Photon Counting Modules for Radiation Instrumentation

Abstract: The interest of our community towards single photon solid-state detectors has been growing significantly, mainly with SiPMs that have found uses in HEP to medical imaging. This is justified by their capability to measure single photons and to provide sub-nanosecond timing resolution. Still, SiPMs have many limitations. Recent work aims at minimizing these limitations by having each Single Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) of the SiPM read out by a CMOS quenching circuit (QC) next to it, leading to a so-called digital SiPM, well known as Single Photon Counting Modules in other fields. In this approach, the SPAD and readout electronics are manufactured in the same fabrication technology, forcing a tradeoff between optoelectronics and electronics performances. Moreover, these digital SiPMs require peripheral electronics limiting the photosensitive area. To overcome SiPMs’ and current digital SiPMs’ limitations and to enable the flexibility of choosing the best and most appropriate technologies to realize the optoelectronics SPAD independently of the CMOS readout, we are proposing to take advantage of 3D vertical integration based on Through Silicon Via (TSV) for the realization of 3D Single Photon Counting Module (3DSPCM) for radiation instrumentation. More precisely, 3DSPCM are promising prospects for use in Positron Emission Tomography (PET) and in particle physics experiments such as Cherenkov radiation for particle identification. This research program is now well underway, where the initial goal is to demonstrate feasibility of the concept and to realize a 3DSPCM optimized for PET system. This research program led to many ongoing research projects and this presentation will outline their advancements and results. For instance, two ASICs were realized in Teledyne-Dalsa 0.8 um HV CMOS implementing quenching circuits and various SPAD arrays to be integrated in 3D. Also, a 3D ASIC was realized in Chartered/Tezzaron 130 nm CMOS process integrating in 3D quenching circuits, time to digital converters and digital signal processing. A system model to enable to optimization of the critical parameters of the 3DSPCM is coming to maturity, being validated with measurements. Finally, post-process TSV and micro fabrication steps to enable 3D integration are showing promising results.
Speaker: Jean-Francois Pratte - Université de Sherbrooke
Speaker Bio: Jean-François Pratte received his Ph.D. degree from Université de Sherbrooke in 2008. In parallel with his thesis, he was an engineer at the Instrumentation Division of Brookhaven National Laboratory from 2002 to 2009, focussing on Positron Emission Tomography (PET) instrumentation such as the RatCAP and dual modality PET and MRI scanners. He joined in 2009 the Université de Sherbrooke and he is currently Associate Professor for the Electrical Engineering Department. He started a research program on 3D vertically integrated Single Photon Counting Modules for radiation instrumentation. His current research interests are single photon avalanche diodes and their front-end electronics, time-to-digital converters and 3D heterogeneous integration based on through silicon vias. He is an active collaborator on the realization of the front-end electronics for the LabPET II preclinical PET scanner.
Poster Link: Poster