An intrinsic signal amplification mechanism, namely cycling excitation process (CEP), has been demonstrated in a heavily doped and heavily compensated silicon p-n junction diode. The physical process amplifies photo-generated signal at low bias (<5V) and produces ultralow excess noise at least partially attributed to an internal stabilization mechanism via electron-phonon interactions. Auger excitation, which can be calculated with Fermi Golden rule and quasi pseudopotential, and localized carrier ionization by phonon absorption are considered two key processes responsible for the unique device characteristics. A partially compensated p-n junction silicon diode based on the proposed CEP principle has shown high gain of ~6000 at -5V and an excess noise factor as low as 3.5 at this gain level, measured at 635nm wavelength and 1KHz for potential imaging applications.
Yu-Hsin Liu, Alex Zhang, Mohammad Abu Raihan Miah, David Hall, Ifikhar Ahmad Niaz, Lujiang Yan, Yugang Yu, Mahmut S. Kavrik, and Yu-Hwa Lo, "Cycling excitation process for light detection and signal amplification in semiconductors," Proc. SPIE 9933, Optical Sensing, Imaging, and Photon Counting: Nanostructured Devices and Applications 2016, 99330C (Presented at SPIE Nanoscience + Engineering: August 31, 2016; Published: 26 September 2016); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2238585.
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