Sep 12 – 17, 2021
University of Birmingham
Europe/London timezone

Development of a single-photon imaging detector with pixelated anode and integrated digital readout

Sep 16, 2021, 12:00 PM
Teaching and Learning Building (University of Birmingham)

Teaching and Learning Building

University of Birmingham

Edgbaston Campus University of Birmingham B15 2TT UK


Dr Nicolo Vladi Biesuz (Universita e INFN, Ferrara (IT))


We present the development of a single-photon detector and the connected read-out electronics.
This `hybrid' detector is based on a vacuum tube, transmission photocathode, microchannel plate and a pixelated CMOS read-out anode encapsulating the analog and digital-front end electronics.
This assembly will be capable of detecting up to $10^9$ photons per second with simultaneous measurement of position and time.

A microchannel plate with $5$-$10~\mathrm{\mu m}$ pore spacing, operated at low gain and treated with atomic layer deposition, was chosen to allow a lifetime of more than $20~\mathrm{C/cm^2}$ accumulated charge.
The pixelated read-out anode used is based on the Timepix4 ASIC ($65~\mathrm{nm}$ CMOS technology) designed in the framework of the Medipix4 collaboration.
This ASIC is an array of $512\times448$ pixels distributed on a $55~\mathrm{\mu m}$ square pitch, with a sensitive area of $\sim 7~\mathrm{cm}^2$.
It features $50$-$70~\mathrm{e^{-}}$ equivalent noise charge, a maximum rate of $2.5~\mathrm{Ghits/s}$, and allows to time-stamp the leading-edge time and to measure the Time-over-Threshold (\textit{ToT}) for each pixel.
The pixel-cluster position combined with its ToT information allows to reach $5$-$10~\mathrm{\mu m}$ position resolution.
This information can also be used to correct for the leading-edge time-walk achieving a timing resolution of the order of $10~\mathrm{ps}$.

The detector will be highly compact thanks to the encapsulated front-end electronics allowing local data processing and digitization.
An FPGA-based data acquisition board, placed far from the detector, will receive the detector hits using $16$ electro-optical links operated at $10.24~\mathrm{Gbps}$.
The data acquisition board will decode the information and store the relevant data in a server for offline analysis.

These performance will allow significant advances in particle physics, life sciences, quantum optics or other emerging fields where the detection of single photons with excellent timing and position resolutions are simultaneously required.

Your name Nicolò Vladi Biesuz
Institute INFN Ferrara

Primary authors

Dr Nicolo Vladi Biesuz (Universita e INFN, Ferrara (IT)) Jerome Alexandre Alozy (CERN) Michael Campbell (CERN) Angelo Cotta Ramusino (Universita e INFN, Ferrara (IT)) Massimiliano Fiorini (Universita e INFN, Ferrara (IT)) Xavi Llopart Cudie (CERN)

Presentation materials