Single photon avalanche photodiodes in silicon island arrays for 3D integration with microelectronics.

This invention’s new concept of a thin silicon island containing a SPAD is a novel method ofintegrating SPADs into a detector, which aims to push the limits of detector time resolution. Itallows the fabrication on silicon with existing industrial processes at low cost while integratingand miniaturizing the pixel matrix. The goal with this architecture is to reach accuracies of 10picoseconds (10e-12 seconds) for a compact detector, which is equivalent to a millimeteraccuracy in terms of distance measurement at the speed of light. This SPAD array integratedin 3D with electronics aims to optimize the performance of the detector in terms ofphotosensitivity and precision on the arrival time of the photon. The thin silicon island conceptavoids costly 3D vertical integration technologies, such as the use of “through silicon vias”, aswell as obtaining a purely vertical junction profile, which minimizes the error on the photon arrivaltime. In summary, the 3 main elements that make this a unique invention are 1) a frontallyilluminated detector, 2) no via contact through the silicon structure to interconnect with theelectronics, and 3) SPADs are made with an optoelectronic process with trenches surroundingthe SPADs for optical and electronic isolation. François Nadeau 873 339-2028

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