|SEVERINI FABIO||Cycle: XXXIV |
Tutor: GERACI ANGELO
Advisor: VILLA FEDERICA ALBERTA Major Research topic
:Single Photon Avalanche Diode arrays for quantum applicationsAbstract:
Quantum imaging and quantum communication are emerging technologies for present and future applications, both in scientific and industrial fields. On one side, quantum imaging exploits quantum correlations in order to image objects at low light (single-photon) regime with unprecedented vertical dimension sensitivities (a few atomic layers) and very large field-of-view (tens of mm2). Thus, it could lead to non-invasive and label free sensing of transparent objects (such as cells, micro-organisms, viruses and proteins), or the detection of very small particles. On the other side, quantum communications are able to ensure an efficient and secure transmission of data, which is mandatory in modern day life. In fact, Quantum Key Distribution (QKD) applications offer such an information theoretically secure (ITS) encryption of data, being resilient against all the threats in classical computation and any quantum attack as well.
Although profoundly different, these applications can profit by Single-Photon Avalanche Diodes (SPADs), thanks to their high sensitivity, relatively low voltage operation, sharp timing resolution, and compatibility with standard microelectronics fabrication processes.
This PhD research will aim at pioneering, developing, and validating novel integrated circuits, containing arrays of SPAD detectors, with embedded sensing/quenching electronics, digital processing and data readout, plus possibly more on-chip processing, such as detecting and locating pixels with photon coincidences within user-adjustable time slots. Depending on the application, the developed arrays will have different sizes and shapes, ranging from linear arrays for fast and high throughput readouts, to very large arrays for dense imagers and very large field-of-view. Moreover, compact end-user systems and instrumentation will be developed, exploiting the aforementioned SPAD arrays and providing added functionalities and off-chip processing through FPGA platforms and seamless integration into selected end-user applications.
This research activity well fits within the framework of both “QMIC” (g.a. 801060) and “UNIQORN” (g.a. 820474) Horizon-2020 project. The former aims to develop a new on-chip differential interference contrast microscope, the latter targets the implementation of high-performance, compact and cost-effective modules for quantum communication.