Giudice A.,Micro Photon Devices SRL
Optics InfoBase Conference Papers | Year: 2016
Single Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs) are optical detectors with diameters ranging from few tens to few hundreds of microns. In case of single pixels, many research and industrial applications, such as Quantum Key Distribution systems, Particle Sizing measurements or single molecule experiments, require these detectors to be coupled with optic fibres. © OSA 2016.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP-FP | Phase: HEALTH-2007-1.2-2 | Award Amount: 7.53M | Year: 2008
The proposal aims at the development and clinical validation of advanced non-invasive optical methodologies for in-vivo diagnosis, monitoring, and prognosis of major neurological diseases (stroke, epilepsy, ischemia), based on diffuse optical imaging by pulsed near infrared light. Established diagnostic imaging modalities (e.g. X-ray Computed Tomography, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Positron Emission Tomography) provide 3D anatomical, functional or pathological information with spatial resolution in the millimetre range. However, these methods cannot be applied continuously or at the bedside. Diffuse optical imaging is expected to provide a valuable complementing tool to assess perfusion and blood oxygenation in brain tissue and their time evolution in a continuous or quasi-continuous manner. The devices will be portable and comparably inexpensive and can be applied in adults and in children. Time-domain techniques are acknowledged as offering superior information content and sensitivity compared to other optical methods, allowing for separation between contributions of surface tissues (skin and skull) and brain tissue. Time-domain imaging can also differentiate between the effects of scatter and those of absorption.The consortium plans major developments in technology and data analysis that will enhance time-domain diffuse optical imaging with respect to spatial resolution, sensitivity, robustness of quantification as well as performance of related instruments in clinical diagnosis and monitoring. The diagnostic value of time-domain diffuse optical imaging will be assessed by clinical pilot studies addressing specific neurological disorders, in comparison with established neurophysiological and neuroimaging techniques. Perspectives regarding clinical application of time-domain diffuse optical brain imaging will be estimated and a reliable basis for a potential commercialisation of this novel technique by European system manufacturers will be created.
Guerrieri F.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Tisa S.,Micro Photon Devices SrL |
Tosi A.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Zappa F.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Zappa F.,Micro Photon Devices SrL
IEEE Photonics Journal | Year: 2010
Many demanding photonic applications require the acquisition of images at very low light-level conditions and at high speed. Advanced imagers available on the market are generally not able to provide both performances in one detector. We present a 2-D imager based on a 32 × 32 array of "smart pixels," each comprising a single-photon avalanche diode detector, an analog front end, and a digital processing electronics, which provides single-photon sensitivity, high electronic noise immunity, and high readout speed. The imager can be operated at a maximum of about 100000 frame/s with negligible blind time between frames, provides high Photon-Detection Efficiency in the visible range and dynamic range, and low Dark-Counting Rate, even at room temperature. To easily integrate the imager into different applications, we developed a complete single-photon camera system, which fully operates the array simply through a USB 2.0 link and user-friendly software to configure camera parameters and operating modalities, as well as to perform readout. © 2009 IEEE.
Cammi C.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Panzeri F.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Gulinatti A.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Rech I.,Polytechnic of Milan |
And 2 more authors.
Review of Scientific Instruments | Year: 2012
Emerged as a solid state alternative to photo multiplier tubes (PMTs), single-photon avalanche diodes (SPADs) are nowadays widely used in the field of single-photon timing applications. Custom technology SPADs assure remarkable performance, in particular a 10 counts/s dark count rate (DCR) at low temperature, a high photon detection efficiency (PDE) with a 50 peak at 550 nm and a 30 ps (full width at half maximum, FWHM) temporal resolution, even with large area devices, have been obtained. Over the past few years, the birth of novel techniques of analysis has led to the parallelization of the measurement systems and to a consequent increasing demand for the development of monolithic arrays of detectors. Unfortunately, the implementation of a multidimensional system is a challenging task from the electrical point of view; in particular, the avalanche current pick-up circuit, used to obtain the previously reported performance, has to be modified in order to enable high parallel temporal resolution, while minimizing the electrical crosstalk probability between channels. In the past, the problem has been solved by integrating the front-end electronics next to the photodetector, in order to reduce the parasitic capacitances and consequently the filtering action on the current signal of the SPAD, leading to an improvement of the timing jitter at higher threshold. This solution has been implemented by using standard complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) technologies, which, however, do not allow a complete control on the SPAD structure; for this reason the intrinsic performance of CMOS SPADs, such as DCR, PDE, and afterpulsing probability, are worse than those attainable with custom detectors. In this paper, we propose a pixel architecture, which enables the development of custom SPAD arrays in which every channel maintains the performance of the best single photodetector. The system relies on the integration of the timing signal pick-up circuit next to the photodiode, achieved by modifying the technological process flow used for the fabrication of the custom SPAD. The pixel is completed by an external standard CMOS active quenching circuit, which assures stable timing performance at quite high count rate (1 MHz). © 2012 American Institute of Physics.
Tosi A.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Mora A.D.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Zappa F.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Zappa F.,Micro Photon Devices S.r.l. |
And 8 more authors.
Optics Express | Year: 2011
In many time-domain single-photon measurements, wide dynamic range (more than 5 orders of magnitude) is required in short acquisition time (few seconds). We report on the results of a novel technique based on a time-gated Single-Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD) able to increase the dynamic range of optical investigations. The optical signal is acquired only in well-defined time intervals. Very fast 200-ps gate-ON transition is used to avoid the undesired strong signal, which can saturate the detector, hide the fainter useful signal and reduce the dynamic range. In experimental measurements, we obtained a dynamic range approaching 8 decades in few minutes of acquisition. © 2011 Optical Society of America.
Bellisai S.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Bronzi D.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Villa F.A.,Polytechnic of Milan |
Tisa S.,Micro Photon Devices Srl |
And 3 more authors.
Optics Express | Year: 2013
"Indirect" time-of-flight is one technique to obtain depth-resolved images through active illumination that is becoming more popular in the recent years. Several methods and light timing patterns are used nowadays, aimed at improving measurement precision with smarter algorithms, while using less and less light power. Purpose of this work is to present an indirect time-of-flight imaging camera based on pulsed-light active illumination and a 32 × 32 single-photon avalanche diode array with an improved illumination timing pattern, able to increase depth resolution and to reach single-photon level sensitivity. © 2013 Optical Society of America.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: H2020 | Program: RIA | Phase: ICT-29-2016 | Award Amount: 3.82M | Year: 2016
SOLUS is a trans-disciplinary 48-month project bringing together 9 partners: industries (4), academic and clinical institutions from 5 countries (engineers, physicists and radiologists) representing cutting-edge expertise in their fields, to develop an innovative non-invasive, point-of-care, low-cost, easy-to-operate, multi-modal imaging system (diffuse optics and ultrasounds/shear wave elastography) for high-specificity diagnosis of breast cancer, the most common female cancer in Europe. Mammographic screening is effective in reducing mortality, however the 10-year cumulative false-positive risk is 50-60%, leading to needless additional invasive procedures (e.g. biopsy). The project addresses the unmet clinical need for higher specificity in breast cancer imaging following screening by fully combining photonics with non-photonics techniques, developing and clinically validating innovative and previously unthinkable photonics concepts and components: time-domain small source-detector distance optical tomography, miniaturized picosecond pulsed laser sources, high-dynamic-range time-gated single-photons detectors to achieve unprecedented sensitivity and depth penetration. For the first time, this allows a comprehensive quantitative characterization of breast tissue including composition (water, lipids, collagen), functional blood parameters, morphologic information and mechanical parameters (stiffness). This innovative multi-parametric characterization will significantly improve the specificity of breast screening, with great impact on the quality of life of millions of European women every year, and huge savings for the healthcare systems. The strong involvement of leading industrial players at all levels in the value chain will push the European innovation process and make a significant contribution to ensuring Europes industrial leadership in the biophotonics healthcare market, while addressing one of the largest societal challenges in health and well-being.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.8.2 | Award Amount: 6.51M | Year: 2010
Quantum entanglement has the capacity to enable disruptive technologies that solve outstanding issues in: - Trust, privacy protection, and security in two- and multi-party transactions; - Novel or enhanced modes of operation of ICT devices; - Reference standards, sensing, and metrology. The development of entanglement-based strategies addresses these challenges and provides the foundations for quantum technologies of the 21st century. The practical exploitation of entanglement requires groundbreaking levels of robustness and flexibility for deployment in real-world environments. This ambitious goal can be reached only through radically new designs of protocols, architectures, interfaces, and components. Q-ESSENCE will achieve this by a concerted application-driven effort covering relevant experimental, phenomenological, and fundamental aspects. Our consortium will target three main outcomes: 1) Development of entanglement-enabled and entanglement-enhanced ICT devices: atomic clocks, quantum sensors, and quantum random-number generators; 2) Novel physical-layer architectures for long-distance quantum communication that surpass current distance limitations through the deployment of next-generation components; 3) Distributed quantum information protocols that provide disruptive solutions to multiuser trust, privacy-protection, and security scenarios based on multipartite entanglement. These outcomes will be reached through the underpinning science and enabling technologies of: light-matter interfaces providing faithful interconversion between different physical realizations of qubits; entanglement engineering at new scales and distances; robust architectures protecting quantum information from decoherence; quantum information concepts that solve problems of limited trust and privacy intrusion. The project builds on the outstanding expertise of the consortium demonstrated by pioneering works over the past decades, enhanced by a strong industrial perspective.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: CP | Phase: ICT-2009.3.7 | Award Amount: 3.40M | Year: 2010
MiSPIA will develop beyond state-of-the-art photonics technology for array imagers of smart-pixels able to detect single photons. Intelligent in-pixel pre-processing will simultaneously provide ultra high sensitivity (single-photon level), very high frame-rate (up to 200,000fps) and advanced multi-spectral (300-900nm) three-dimensional (3D) distance ranging and two-dimensional (2D) imaging of fast moving objects. MiSPIA detectors will be used in two key applications: long-range (200-1,000m) 2D and 3D active identification in low light level surveillance operations; and very fast (over 200fps) short-range (10-50m) 3D monitoring in automotive pre-crash safety systems. Instead of (slow and noisy) CCDs and CMOS active pixels (with poor sensitivity and noisy electronics), MiSPIA will exploit the ultimate performances of truly-single photon detectors: the Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPAD).\nMiSPIA imagers will be based on four different SPAD smart-pixels: photon-counting pixels for 2D imaging; LIDAR pixels for 3D direct time-of-flight (dTOF); two different phase-sensitive pixels for 3D indirect time-of-flight (iTOF) depth acquisitions. Full-size imager chips will be manufactured, characterized and eventually integrated into two 3D ranging cameras deployed into the two end-users applications for validation.\nMiSPIA technologies will be both highly-advanced and cost-effective: a high-voltage 0.35m CMOS processing for front-side illuminated imagers; and a new flipped-chip Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) CMOS technology for back-side illuminated imagers. Both will prove beyond state-of-the art co-integration of photonic SPAD detectors and CMOS microelectronics for intelligent and dense 2D imaging and 3D ranging high-performance cameras. Such cameras will provide imaging at the quantum limit and on-chip pre-processing at the most effective speed at a drastic reduction of manufacturing costs, down to 5 per imager chip.\nThe developments of the MiSPIA Project will be published on the official website www.mispia.eu.
Agency: European Commission | Branch: FP7 | Program: BSG-SME | Phase: SME-1 | Award Amount: 1.46M | Year: 2009
Analytical methods based on fluorescence measurements are widely employed for investigating biological process at cellular level. A modern technique is fluorescence-lifetime imaging microscopy (FLIM), where a map is obtained of the fluorescent emission lifetime versus position in a cell. The objective of project PARAFLUO is an innovative instrumentation system that will enhance and extend the usefulness of FLIM, making possible to obtain simultaneously FLIM data separately for the various spectral components of the emission. There is wide consensus among experimenters that this spectrally resolved technique (called sFLIM) will support a better understanding of the biological processes involved. Such understanding is paramount for the (patho)physiology of tissues and organisms and gives a base for gaining a better insight in key medical issues, such as the origin and growth mechanisms of tumors. The optoelectronic instrumentation developed will be useful also for other market objectives, such as simultaneous multi-spectral profiling of objects by laser detection and ranging (LADAR) techniques. The developments envisaged are essentially: (a) a photon-counting array detector based on the silicon single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) technology; (b) a new micro-lens system for focusing light onto the detector and (c) an ASIC based multichannel time correlated single photon counting (TCSPC) system, integrated with an optoelectronic setup in a confocal microscope. The base of the PARAFLUO consortium is given by three SMEs; each one having a consolidated technical know-how and an active presence in the market over one of the quoted scientific-technical (S/T) areas. Five RTD performers have been selected primarily because of their high international standard in these areas; furthermore, each of them has experience of active collaboration with the SME directly concerned by the specific S/T work. A professional partner supports the coordinator and ensures timely and efficient exchange of materials and information in the project.