High-Performance Back-Illuminated Three-Dimensional Stacked Single-Photon Avalanche Diode Implemented in 45-nm CMOS Technology

Myung Jae Lee*, Augusto Ronchini Ximenes, Preethi Padmanabhan, Tzu Jui Wang, Kuo Chin Huang, Yuichiro Yamashita, Dun Nian Yaung, Edoardo Charbon

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)
    47 Downloads (Pure)


    We present a high-performance back-illuminated three-dimensional stacked single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD), which is implemented in 45-nm CMOS technology for the first time. The SPAD is based on a P+/Deep N-well junction with a circular shape, for which N-well is intentionally excluded to achieve a wide depletion region, thus enabling lower tunneling noise and better timing jitter as well as a higher photon detection efficiency and a wider spectrum. In order to prevent premature edge breakdown, a P-type guard ring is formed at the edge of the junction, and it is optimized to achieve a wider photon-sensitive area. In addition, metal-1 is used as a light reflector to improve the detection efficiency further in backside illumination. With the optimized 3-D stacked 45-nm CMOS technology for back-illuminated image sensors, the proposed SPAD achieves a dark count rate of 55.4 cps/μm2 and a photon detection probability of 31.8% at 600 nm and over 5% in the 420-920 nm wavelength range. The jitter is 107.7 ps full width at half-maximum with negligible exponential diffusion tail at 2.5 V excess bias voltage at room temperature. To the best of our knowledge, these are the best results ever reported for any back-illuminated 3-D stacked SPAD technologies.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number8338386
    Pages (from-to)1-9
    Number of pages9
    JournalIEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2018


    • Avalanche photodiode (APD)
    • CMOS image sensor
    • detector
    • Geiger-mode avalanche photodiode (G-APD)
    • image sensor
    • integrated optics device
    • integrated photonics
    • light detection and ranging (LiDAR)
    • low light level
    • optical sensor
    • photodiode
    • photomultiplier
    • photon counting
    • photon timing
    • semiconductor
    • sensor
    • silicon
    • single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD)
    • single-photon imaging
    • standard CMOS technology
    • three-dimensional fabrication
    • three-dimensional vision


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