Detectors of extremely low light levels (photon counters) based on semiconductor avalanche photodiodes are increasingly used in quantum cryptography, communication and informatics, random number cryptogenerators, security cameras, medical diagnostic methods and scientific molecular research such as genetics. Semiconductor technology, especially silicon photon counters, is a very active area of research. This type of detector is sensitive over a wide spectrum of wavelengths of light and has temporal resolution, quantum efficiency and gain that significantly surpass the features of traditional photomultipliers. Robustness, small dimensions and low power consumption, along with the possibility of being installed directly in a silicon chip, open up the possibility of a large number of applications.
Existing commercial detectors do not meet the needs of our scientific and technological research, not only because of suboptimal features, but also because of very high prices (on average HRK 40,000). The detectors shown in the literature also do not satisfy or are incorrectly specified. We have noticed that our colleagues with whom we collaborate scientifically have come to similar conclusions, and that they themselves are looking for their own technical solutions.
The task of the project is the development of a compact optoelectronic module that includes a SPAD detector and an associated circuit for extinguishing an avalanche, which could be used as a counter in diagnostic, analytical and cryptographic methods based on the detection of extremely low light levels. In addition to optimal photodetection features, additional requirements are low power consumption, low production costs, and small physical dimensions of the detector module. The ultimate goal is the commercialization of the developed technology.