Award Date

May 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Engineering (MSE)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Committee Member

R. Jacob Baker

Second Committee Member

Peter Stubberud

Third Committee Member

Yingtao Jiang

Fourth Committee Member

Victor Kwong

Number of Pages



Photon counting is a technique in many modern technologies such as medical imaging and LiDAR systems. Photon counting is needed in many aspects of the development process for these technologies from photodetector characterization to operation of the finished product. This thesis will serve to solve the challenge of quantifying photodetector performance using automating test equipment with known software packages such as MATLAB to be able tocharacterize photodetectors in an efficient manner. A custom MATLAB program has been developed to interface with various instrumentation using a General-Purpose Interface Bus (GPIB) and a Prologix GPIB-USB controller that will be able to send SCPI commands to conduct experiments on Avalanche Photodiodes for their various properties. The program automatically calculates the estimated completion time to notify the user of when the experiment and data will be complete for data processing and presentation. Testing throughput is significantly advanced through this automated system with a test consisting of 1,000 unique operating points taking only about 2 hours, compared to having a user manually performing the same test in around 8 hours; a decrease of time by a factor of 4. This enables complete characterization and calibration of a typical photodetector in less than a day in a manufacturing environment. The results are processed in a program that compares multiple tests for parameters such as the generated photon counts produced by incident light and normalized count data over a certain area of a photodiode.


Automated; GPIB; MATLAB; Photodiode; Photon Counting; SR430



File Format


Degree Grantor

University of Nevada, Las Vegas




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