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Low-operating-voltage integrated silicon light-emitting devices

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2 Author(s)
Aharoni, H. ; Dept. of Electr., Electron. & Comput. Eng., Univ. of Pretoria, South Africa ; du Plessis, M.

A solution is presented for the fabrication of low-voltage, low-power (<4.25 V and <5 mW) silicon light-emitting devices (Si-LEDs), utilizing standard very large scale integration technology without any adaptation. Accordingly, they can be integrated with their signal processing CMOS and BiCMOS circuits on the same chip. This enables the fabrication of much needed all-silicon monolithic optoelectronic systems operated by a single supply. The structural details of two distinctly different line-patterned Si-LEDs are presented, composed of heavily doped n+p+ junctions, made by BiCMOS n+ sinker and PMOS p+ source/drain doped regions, respectively. Using this approach, other Si-LED structures can be designed to yield low- or high-voltage Si-LED operation as well. Light is emitted at low reverse bias as a result of quantum transitions of carriers, generated by field emission, as indicated by the low reverse breakdown voltage VB, the soft "knee" I-V characteristics and the negative temperature coefficient of VB. The optical performance data show that, at low reverse operating current IR, the overall emitted light intensity L is a nonlinear function of IR and becomes linear at higher IR. A bell-shaped light spectrum is obtained, with an enhanced short wavelength and attenuated long-wavelength radiation, relative to that of avalanche Si-LEDs.

Published in:

Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 5 )