NUV-Sensitive Silicon Photomultiplier Technologies Developed at Fondazione Bruno Kessler

Sensors (Basel). 2019 Jan 14;19(2):308. doi: 10.3390/s19020308.


Different applications require different customizations of silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) technology. We present a review on the latest SiPM technologies developed at Fondazione Bruno Kessler (FBK, Trento), characterized by a peak detection efficiency in the near-UV and customized according to the needs of different applications. Original near-UV sensitive, high-density SiPMs (NUV-HD), optimized for Positron Emission Tomography (PET) application, feature peak photon detection efficiency (PDE) of 63% at 420 nm with a 35 um cell size and a dark count rate (DCR) of 100 kHz/mm². Correlated noise probability is around 25% at a PDE of 50% at 420 nm. It provides a coincidence resolving time (CRT) of 100 ps FWHM (full width at half maximum) in the detection of 511 keV photons, when used for the readout of LYSO(Ce) scintillator (Cerium-doped lutetium-yttrium oxyorthosilicate) and down to 75 ps FWHM with LSO(Ce:Ca) scintillator (Cerium and Calcium-doped lutetium oxyorthosilicate). Starting from this technology, we developed three variants, optimized according to different sets of specifications. NUV-HD⁻LowCT features a 60% reduction of direct crosstalk probability, for applications such as Cherenkov telescope array (CTA). NUV-HD⁻Cryo was optimized for cryogenic operation and for large photosensitive areas. The reference application, in this case, is the readout of liquid, noble-gases scintillators, such as liquid Argon. Measurements at 77 K showed a remarkably low value of the DCR of a few mHz/mm². Finally, vacuum-UV (VUV)-HD features an increased sensitivity to VUV light, aiming at direct detection of photons below 200 nm. PDE in excess of 20% at 175 nm was measured in liquid Xenon. In the paper, we discuss the specifications on the SiPM related to different types of applications, the SiPM design challenges and process optimizations, and the results from the experimental characterization of the different, NUV-sensitive technologies developed at FBK.

Keywords: Cherenkov light detection; PET; SiPM performance; VUV-light detection; cryogenic SiPM; liquid; liquid–Argon TPC; noble-gases scintillators; scintillation light readout; silicon photomultiplier (SiPM) technology.

Publication types

  • Review