High-Bandwidth Photon-Counting Detectors with Enhanced Near-Infrared Response
Laser optical communications offer the potential to dramatically increase the link bandwidth and decrease the emitter power in long-range space communications. Newest system designs require photon-counting arrays operated at high detection efficiency, tens of picoseconds temporal resolution, and capability to handle high detection rates at the wavelength of the laser beam.
We propose to develop a novel photon-counting detector array in near infrared, operated with moderate cooling, high-detection efficiency, high saturation counting rate, and capable of high timing resolution. In Phase I, we will investigate methods to integrate photon absorption enhancement techniques into the photon detector process flow and demonstrate the elements of the technology yielding photon-counting detector arrays with high detection efficiency at 1064 nm, high bandwidth and saturation-counting rate. In Phase II, we will integrate the new process flow with readout electronics into compact photon-counting arrays using hybrid and monolithic integration technologies. Detector and readout circuit design will be improved to meet the detection efficiency, noise, timing resolution, and linearity requirements.
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