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5 January 2007


Princeton Lightwave launches avalanche photodetector for 1.06µm

Princeton Lightwave Inc (PLI) of Cranbury, NJ, USA says it has introduced the first indium phosphide single-photon counting APD (SPAD) designed for optimum performance at 1.06µm.

The 1.06µm SPAD bridges the performance gap between silicon devices (which reach maximum responsivity below 1µm and suffer from very low detection efficiency at 1.06µm) and conventional InP SPADs (with a responsivity peak at 1.55µm), which have excellent detection efficiency but the excess noise generated by the unused spectrum increases the dark count rate at 1.06µm.

PLI's SPAD combines an adjustment in the spectral peak (achieved through material engineering) with single-photon capabilities stemming from prior designs for longer wavelengths. The result is peak responsivity at 1.06µm,
which enables very low dark count rates while providing an order of magnitude larger detection efficiency compared to silicon.

The device is available in sizes of 80 and 200 microns, packaged with a thermoelectric cooler inside a windowed TO-8 can. The low dark count rate allows operation in either gated or non-gated mode. A detection efficiency
of 50% is achievable, says PLI.

Applications include all low-light YAG laser detection, time-resolved spectroscopy in biomedicine, LIDAR and LADAR systems for remote sensing, and free-space optical communications.