In this work, we have proposed a model for the ultimate physical limit on the sensitivity of the heterojunction bipolar phototransistors (HPTs). Based on our modeling we have extracted the design criteria for the HPT for high sensitivity application. HPT with the submicron emitter and base area has the potential to be used for the low number photon resolving in near-infrared (NIR) wavelength. However, in practice, the quality of materials, processing, and the passivation plays an important role in the realization of the highly sensitive HPT. For short wave infrared (SWIR) HPTs based on lattice matched InGaAs to InP is studied. For these devices, conditions to reach to the highest possible sensitivity is examined. We have made an HPT based on InGaAs collector and base on the InP substrate. After developing proper processing combination of wet and dry etching and the surface passivation for the device we made an imager with 320x256 pixels based with a 30m pixel pitch. The imager shows the sensitivity less the 30 photons for each pixel with the frame rate more than 1K frames per second.
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