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Photodetectors based on heterostructures for opto-electronic applications

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5 Author(s)
Nabet, B. ; Electr. & Comput. Eng. Dept., Drexel Univ., Philadelphia, PA, USA ; Cola, A. ; Cataldo, A. ; Chen, Xiying
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In this paper, we present four photodetector devices that have the benefit of compatibility with established high electron-mobility transistor technology and are, thus, more conducive to monolithic integration with high-speed opto-electronic integrated circuitry. These AlGaAs-GaAs heterojunction-based planar devices all use the wide-gap material to enhance the Schottky barrier height between metal and semiconductor. We show that doping of this layer produces an internal electric field that aids in the transport and collection of photoelectrons. Addition of a resonant optical cavity by means of a distributed Bragg reflector reduces the required thickness of the absorption layer, thus achieving good responsivity and high speed, as well as wavelength selectivity. Current-voltage, current-temperature, photocurrent spectra, high-speed time response, and on-wafer frequency-domain measurements are presented, which point out that the often contradictory requirements of responsivity, noise, and speed may be addressed by proper engineering of the internal electric field and optical properties. Numerical simulations are performed to describe internal electric and optical behavior and a small-signal model based on frequency-domain data is extracted in order to facilitate photoreceiver design. The low dark current, in tens of femtoamps per square micrometer, full-width at half-maximum time responses below 10 ps, and high bandwidth in tens of gigahertz, make these devices of interest for applications ranging from optical communications to imaging systems.

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Microwave Theory and Techniques, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:51 ,  Issue: 10 )