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A 3D Photon-to-Digital Converter Readout for Low-Power and Large-Area Applications
  • +4
  • Tommy Rossignol,
  • Nicolas Roy,
  • Samuel Parent,
  • Keven Deslandes,
  • Frédéric Nolet,
  • Serge Charlebois,
  • Jean-François Pratte
Tommy Rossignol
Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
Author Profile
Nicolas Roy
Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
Samuel Parent
Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
Keven Deslandes
Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
Frédéric Nolet
Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
Serge Charlebois
Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada
Jean-François Pratte
Interdisciplinary Institute for Technological Innovation and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC J1K 2R1, Canada

Abstract

The new trend in large area noble liquid experiments is to measure the scintillation light with photodetectors and their electronics inside the active volume. Compared to the typical approach of using silicon photomultipliers (SiPM) with the analog readout chain to an analog-todigital converter, this paper presents a new 3D photon-to-digital converter (PDC) readout that takes advantage of the binary nature of the single-photon avalanche diode. The readout contains 4096 pixels over 25 mm 2 , each including a 3D bonding pad and a quenching circuit. The readout features three different outputs : a fast flag to get the timestamp of each event from an external time-to-digital converter, a digital sum to retrieve the number of pixels triggered during an event and an analog monitor to generate an analog SiPM-like output. The analog monitor is also used to validate the two former digital outputs. The readout also includes 61 2D CMOS SPADs for validation purpose prior to the final 3D integration with a Teledyne DALSA custom SPAD array. As a first system integration toward large-area detector applications, a mini-tile of 2 × 2 readouts has been developed to test all the functionalities. The measured single-photon timing resolution ranges from 72 to 93 ps FWHM across the mini-tile SPAD channels population (i.e. 4 × 61 channels). The flag timing resolution is below 95 ps RMS, which includes the contribution of the optimized flag H-tree with an additional trigger tree to replace the 3D SPAD array for 2D testing. Once bonded with the 3D SPADs, the trigger tree won't be required to measure the flag timing resolution. With the removed contribution of the trigger tree, the estimated flag timing resolution should be below 45 ps RMS. The benefits of the digital sum output depend on the application, and this paper focuses on two cases. First, a low-power coincidence scheme for the nEXO liquid xenon experiment, leading to a power consumption as low as 140 µW per PDC. On the other hand, with a finer sampling mode of the scintillation light for pulse shape discrimination in liquid argon, the power consumption remains below 100 µW per PDC. Overall, this readout is designed as a replacement for a typical analog SiPM chain, without any compromise on the performances.
15 May 2024Submitted to TechRxiv
20 May 2024Published in TechRxiv