5 May 2016 3D avalanche multiplication in Si-Ge lateral avalanche photodiodes
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Abstract
Si-Ge lateral avalanche photodiodes (Si-Ge LAPDs) are promising devices for single photon detection, but they also have technology challenges. Si-Ge LAPDs are CMOS compatible and capable of detecting photons near the 1550 nm telecommunications bands. However, the Si-Ge LAPD exhibits a unique avalanche multiplication process in silicon, where the electrons and holes follow curved paths in three-dimensional space. Traditional models for the analysis of the avalanche multiplication process assume one-dimensional paths for the carriers that undergo the chains of impact ionizations; therefore, they are not suitable for analyzing the avalanche properties of Si-Ge LAPDs. In this paper, the statistics of the avalanche process in the Si-Ge LAPD are modeled analytically using a method that was recently developed by our group for understanding the avalanche multiplication in nanopillar, core-shell GaAs avalanche photodiodes, for which the electric field is non-uniform in magnitude and direction. Specifically, the calculated mean avalanche gain and the excess noise are presented for the Si-Ge LAPD device. It is also shown that the avalanche characteristics depend upon the specific avalanche path taken by the carrier, which depends, in turn, on the lateral location where each photon is absorbed in the Ge absorber. This property can be exploited to achieve reduced excess noise as well as wavelength-sensitive single-photon detection.
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Erum Jamil, Majeed M. Hayat, Paul S. Davids, Ryan M. Camacho, "3D avalanche multiplication in Si-Ge lateral avalanche photodiodes", Proc. SPIE 9858, Advanced Photon Counting Techniques X, 98580I (5 May 2016); doi: 10.1117/12.2225037; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2225037
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