Analysis of hot-carrier luminescence for infrared single-photon upconversion and readout

Hod Finkelstein, Yu Hwa Lo, Sadik Esener

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We propose and analyze a new method for single-photon wavelength up-conversion using optical coupling between a primary infrared (IR) single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) and a complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) silicon SPAD, which are fused through a silicon dioxide passivation layer. A primary IR photon induces an avalanche in the IR SPAD. The photons produced by hot-carrier recombination are subsequently sensed by the silicon SPAD, thus, allowing for on-die data processing. Because the devices are fused through their passivation layers, lattice mismatch issues between the semiconductor materials are avoided. We develop a model for calculating the conversion efficiency of the device, and use realistic device parameters to estimate up to 97% upconversion efficiency and 33% system efficiency, limited by the IR detector alone. The new scheme offers a low-cost means to manufacture dense IR-SPAD arrays, while significantly reducing their afterpulsing. We show that this high-speed compact method for upconverting IR photons is feasible and efficient.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-966
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2007
Externally publishedYes


  • Avalanche photodiodes
  • single photon detectors
  • wavelength upconversion

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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