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InGaAs single photon sensing

We are demonstrating a new platform to achieve state-of-the-art performances in single photon sensing at near infrared (NIR) range.

To achieve this next generation system we are using plasmonic coupled InGaAs nanopillar single photon avalanche diodes (NP-SPADs) array as single photon sensors.

We will design, grow and fabricate the world’s first InGaAs NP-SPADs with Separate Absorption and Multiplication avalanche photodiode (SAM-APD) structure in close collaboration with the NanoMaterial Core Lab at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). We will perform comprehensive characterisation including DCR, SPDE, after-pulsing, timing jitter and photon number resolution using a custom-designed characterisation setup. NP-SPAD testing will be done in real applications, including 3D imaging.

Traditional SPADs are limited by a large number of material defects, including a low operating rate. Our new platform will deliver low noise, low cost and photon number resolving ability that outperforms existing systems. We hope the platform will enable compact and low-cost eye-safe 3D imaging system for long-range detection, which in turn will benefit applications such as aerial mapping.


This project is funded by a Sêr Cymru Cofund Fellowship for three years.

The project team

Lead researcher