Low-cost, High Performance Avalanche Photodiodes for Enabling High Sensitivity Bio-fluorescence Detection (Final Report)

Report No. ARL-TR-5981
Authors: Anand V. Sampath and Michael Wraback
Date/Pages: April 2012; 26 pages
Abstract: A III-Nitride/silicon carbide (SiC) separate absorption and multiplication avalanche photodiode (SAM-APD) offers a novel approach for fabricating high gain photodetectors with tunable absorption over a wide spectrum from the visible to deep ultraviolet. However, unlike conventional heterojunction SAM-APDs, the formation of a polarization-induced charge at the heterointerface arising from spontaneous and piezoelectric polarization can dramatically affect the performance of this detector. In this report, we discuss the role of this interface charge on the performance of gallium nitride (GaN)/SiC SAM-APDs through simulations of the electric field profile within this device structure and experimental results on fabricated APDs. These devices exhibit a low dark current below 0.1 nA before avalanche breakdown and high avalanche gain in excess of 1000 with active areas 25 times larger than that of state-of-the-art GaN APDs. A responsivity of 4 A/W was measured at 365 nm when biased near avalanche breakdown.
Distribution: Approved for public release
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Last Update / Reviewed: April 1, 2012