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A novel way to improve the quantum efficiency of silicon light-emitting diode in a standard silicon complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor technology

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2 Author(s)
Xu, Kaikai ; Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, University of California, Irvine, California 92697, USA ; Li, G.P.

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Silicon diode at avalanche breakdown has visible light emission in the depletion region. It is believed that this optical radiation comes from the kinetic energy loss of carriers generated by impact ionization colliding with immobile charge centers in the avalanche region. A theoretical model is presented to show the correlation of the hot carrier effect with the related photonic emission in high field. Meanwhile, a PMOSFET-like silicon light source device fabricated completely in the standard silicon CMOS process technology is measured to demonstrate that avalanching current is linearly proportional to optical emission power whether this light source acts as a two-terminal device (i.e., diode, the “p+ Source/Drain to n-Substrate junction” with floating the gate) or acts as a three-terminal device (i.e., gate-diode, the “p+ Source/Drain to n-Substrate junction” in the course of varying the gate voltage). Such linearity implies that control of the increasing current is a significant way to enhance the quantum efficiency of this light source device no matter what the physical structure (i.e., two terminals or three terminals) of this device is. For the first time, it has been discovered that, at the same avalanching current, the optical output power in gate-diode structure is higher than the optical output power in diode structure. In other words, for this PMOSFET-like device, the three-terminal operating mode is more efficient than the two-terminal operating mode.

Published in:

Journal of Applied Physics  (Volume:113 ,  Issue: 10 )