Hamamatsu Photonics introduced a new generation of their Multi-Pixel Photon Counters in 2013 with significantly reduced after-pulsing rate. In this paper, we investigate the causes of after-pulsing by testing pre-2013 and post-2013 devices using laser light ranging from 405 to 820 nm. Doing so we investigate the possibility that afterpulsing is also due to optical photons produced in the avalanche rather than to impurities trapping charged carriers produced in the avalanches and releasing them at a later time. For pre-2013 devices, we observe avalanches delayed by ns to several 100 ns at 637, 777 nm and 820 nm demonstrating that holes created in the zero field region of the silicon bulk can diffuse back to the high field region triggering delayed avalanches. On the other hand post-2013 exhibit no delayed avalanches beyond 100 ns at 777 nm. We also confirm that post-2013 devices exhibit about 25 times lower after-pulsing. Taken together, our measurements show that the absorption of photons from the avalanche in the bulk of the silicon and the subsequent hole diffusion back to the junction was a significant source of after-pulse for the pre-2013 devices. Hamamatsu appears to have fixed this problem in 2013 following the preliminary release of our results. We also show that even at short wavelength the timing distribution exhibit tails in the sub-nanosecond range that may impair the MPPC timing performances.

Additional Metadata
Keywords Avalanche-induced secondary effects, Charge transport and multiplication in solid media, Detector modelling and simulations II (electric fields, charge transport, multiplication and induction, pulse formation, electron emission, etc), Photon detectors for UV, visible and IR photons (solid-state) (PIN diodes, APDs, Si-PMTs, G-APDs, CCDs, EBCCDs, EMCCDs etc)
Persistent URL dx.doi.org/10.1088/1748-0221/12/07/P07026
Journal Journal of Instrumentation
Boone, K., Iwai, Y., Retière, F., & Rethmeier, C. (2017). Delayed avalanches in Multi-Pixel Photon Counters. Journal of Instrumentation, 12(7). doi:10.1088/1748-0221/12/07/P07026