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It is shown that, by using conventional VLSI design rules and device processing, a variety of two terminal and multiterminal integrated silicon light-emitting devices (Si-LEDs) can be routinely fabricated without any adaptation to the process, enabling the production of all-silicon monolithic optoelectronic systems. Their specific performance can be tailored by their different geometries and structures, yielding, by design, area, line, and point light-emitting patterns. The light-generating mechanisms are based on carrier quantum transitions in Si pn junctions, operated in the field emission or avalanche modes. Field emission Si-LEDs can operate at supply voltages compatible with those of integrated circuits (5 V or less). Avalanche Si-LEDs require higher operating voltages, but yield higher light intensities. The two terminal Si-LEDs yield a linear relation between the emitted light intensity and the driving current. The multiterminal Si-LEDs exhibit a nonlinear relation between the light emission intensity and the controlling electrical signal, enabling signal processing operations, which can not be attained in two terminal Si-LEDs. Two basic structures of multi terminal Si-LEDs are presented, i.e MOS-like structures, or carrier injection based structures (BJT-like devices). They possess different input impedances and both their emitted light intensities and emitting area patterns can be controlled by the input electrical signal.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:8 , Issue: 6 )
Date of Publication: Nov/Dec 2002