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11 June 2013 MBE growth of Sb-based nBn photodetectors on large diameter GaAs substrates
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The GaSb-based family of materials and heterostructures provides rich bandgap engineering possibilities for a variety of infrared (IR) applications. Mid-wave and long-wave IR photodetectors are progressing toward commercial manufacturing applications, but to succeed they must move from research laboratory settings to general semiconductor production and they require larger diameter substrates than the current standard 2-inch and 3-inch GaSb. Substrate vendors are beginning production of 4-inch GaSb, but another alternative is growth on 6-inch GaAs substrates with appropriate metamorphic buffer layers. We have grown generic MWIR nBn photodetectors on large diameter, 6-inch GaAs substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. Multiple metamorphic buffer architectures, including bulk GaSb nucleation, AlAsSb superlattices, and graded GaAsSb and InAlSb ternary alloys, were employed to bridge the 7.8% mismatch gap from the GaAs substrates to the GaSb-based epilayers at 6.1 Å lattice-constant and beyond. Reaching ~6.2 Å extends the nBn cutoff wavelength from 4.2 to <5 µm, thus broadening the application space. The metamorphic nBn epiwafers demonstrated unique surface morphologies and crystal properties, as revealed by AFM, high-resolution XRD, and cross-section TEM. GaSb nucleation resulted in island-like surface morphology while graded ternary buffers resulted in cross-hatched surface morphology, with low root-mean-square roughness values of ~10 Å obtained. XRD determined dislocation densities as low as 2 × 107 cm-2. Device mesas were fabricated and dark currents of 1 × 10-6 A/cm2 at 150K were measured. This work demonstrates a promising path to satisfy the increasing demand for even larger area focal plane array detectors in a commercial production environment.
© (2013) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Dmitri Lubyshev, Joel M. Fastenau, Yueming Qiu, Amy W. K. Liu, Edwin J. Koerperick, Jonathon T. Olesberg, Dennis Norton Jr., Nikolai N. Faleev, and Christiana B. Honsberg "MBE growth of Sb-based nBn photodetectors on large diameter GaAs substrates", Proc. SPIE 8704, Infrared Technology and Applications XXXIX, 870412 (11 June 2013);

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