18 August 2010 Design of a silicon avalanche photodiode pixel with integrated laser diode using back-illuminated crystallographically etched silicon-on-sapphire with monolithically integrated microlens for dual-mode passive and active imaging arrays
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Abstract
There is a growing need in scientific research applications for dual-mode, passive and active 2D and 3D LADAR imaging methods. To fill this need, an advanced back-illuminated silicon avalanche photodiode (APD) design is presented using a novel silicon-on-sapphire substrate incorporating a crystalline aluminum nitride (AlN) antireflective layer between the silicon and R-plane sapphire. This allows integration of a high quantum efficiency silicon APD with a gallium nitride (GaN) laser diode in each pixel. The pixel design enables single photon sensitive, solid-state focal plane arrays (FPAs) with wide dynamic range, supporting passive and active imaging capability in a single FPA. When (100) silicon is properly etched with TMAH solution, square based pyramidal frustum or mesa arrays result with the four mesa sidewalls of the APD formed by (111) silicon planes that intersect the (100) planes at a crystallographic angle, φ c = 54.7°. The APD device is fabricated in the mesa using conventional silicon processing technology. The GaN laser diode is fabricated by epitaxial growth inside of an inverted, etched cavity in the silicon mesa. Microlenses are fabricated in the thinned, and AR-coated sapphire substrate. The APDs share a common, front-side anode contact, and laser diodes share a common cathode. A low resistance (Al) or (Cu) metal anode grid fills the space between pixels and also inhibits optical crosstalk. SOS-APD arrays are flip-chip bump-bonded to CMOS readout ICs to produce hybrid FPAs. The square 27 μm emitter-detector pixel achieves SNR > 1 in active detection mode for Lambert surfaces at 1,000 meters.
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Alvin G. Stern, Alvin G. Stern, } "Design of a silicon avalanche photodiode pixel with integrated laser diode using back-illuminated crystallographically etched silicon-on-sapphire with monolithically integrated microlens for dual-mode passive and active imaging arrays", Proc. SPIE 7780, Detectors and Imaging Devices: Infrared, Focal Plane, Single Photon, 778011 (18 August 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.861271; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.861271
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