Doctoral Dissertations

Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical Engineering

Major Professor

Nicole McFarlane

Committee Members

Benjamin J. Blalock, Garrett Rose, Steven A. Ripp


Photomultiplier tubes (PMTs) are used as photo-sensors in many applications including the medical field, nuclear science, and astrophysics. Since silicon photmultipliers(SiPMs) are relatively insusceptible to magnetic fields, compact, and require relativelylower bias voltages, they have been aroused interests and showing a great potentialas a substitute to photomultiplier tubes (PMTs). SiPM consists of a large array ofparallel diodes biased above breakdown with a series resistor. These diodes are knownas single photon avalanche diodes or SPADs. This dissertation uses SiPMs based ona new device Perimeter Gated SPADs or PGSPAD, fabricated in standard CMOS.The novel contributions of this work are as follows.1. The effectiveness of the additional gate terminal to modulate the breakdownvoltage has been verified for the perimeter gated SPAD device fabricated in standard0.5 µm HV and 0.35 µm CMOS processes.2. PGSPAD noise has been experimentally characterized over a range oftemperatures with the variation of gate voltage for the first time.3. A full chip CMOS analog SiPM using PGSPAD has been reported for the firsttime and fully characterized for noise, sensitivity, signal to noise ratio throughout thevisible spectral range, and thermal characterization for varying bias voltages.4. A CMOS digital SiPM with fully digital asynchronous address eventrepresentation (AER) readout has been demonstrated for the first time to providehigh bandwidth with tunable noise performance using PGSPAD based pixels.5. Finally, a novel electrical model for the perimeter gated SPAD based siliconphotomultiplier (SiPM) detector has been developed to accurately simulate the static,dynamic, and stochastic noise behavior of the SiPM detector with the effect ofadditional gate terminal.

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