Large Volume Single Photon Detection

Open Access
Author:
Miller, Jeffrey Philip
Area of Honors:
Electrical Engineering
Degree:
Bachelor of Science
Document Type:
Thesis
Thesis Supervisors:
  • Noel Giebink, Thesis Supervisor
  • Julio Urbina, Honors Advisor
Keywords:
  • Electrical engineering
  • Optoelectronics
  • Luminescent Concentrator
  • Luminescent Solar Concentrator
  • Diffuse Light
  • Optical Concentrator
Abstract:
Luminescent concentrators (LCs) have received much attention in the solar harvesting community for their ability to absorb incident radiation intendent of angle. On the other hand, there has been little effort exploring LCs potential for communication and sensing purposes. The rise of solid-state photon counting diodes, such as the Single-Photon Avalanche Diode (SPAD), or the Silicon PhotoMultiplier (SiPM), is promising for Optical Wireless Communication (OWC) as well as cosmic ray/neutrino observatory scenarios. However, these technologies introduce the need to concentrate an optical beam, from a wide range of incident angles, or diffuse radiation, to the small package size of the solid-state photon counting diodes, while maintaining a high quantum efficiency and a fast response. Here, we propose a densely packed optical fiber array to collect radiation over nearly a full sphere of incident angles, and characterize its ability to concentrate diffuse, radiation. The bundle splays outward from a tightly bound base, taking a unique “flower” geometry. An efficient organic polymer, coated onto the body or doped in the core of each fiber, absorbs incident ultraviolet radiation and rapidly fluoresces. A portion of emitted photons, trapped in the fiber by total internal reflection, waveguides to the base of the optical flower and couples out onto an exit photo-absorber or photodiode.