To suppress the surface leakage current of InAs/GaSb Type-II superlattice (T2SL) infrared photodetectors, atomic layer deposited (ALD)-Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> passivation effects have been investigated. By using the ALD-Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> passivation layers, surface leakage current was more effectively suppressed than by using chemical vapor deposited-SiO<sub>2</sub> passivation layers. The deposition temperature of ALD Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> played an important role in minimizing the surface leakage current of T2SL infrared photodetectors. We found that the dark current density of mid-wavelength (MW) p-i-n structures was limited by their bulk components with Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> passivation layers deposited at or below 200 °C, while the dark current density increased with the surface leakage when the layers were deposited at 260 °C. From the capacitance–voltage analysis, it was found that the deposition at 260 °C led to a large interface trap density at the Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>/GaSb interface. The results of X-ray photoelectron (XPS) spectroscopy show that the spectra of Sb<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> decreases while that of Ga<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3 </sub>increases when the deposition temperature increases from 200 to 260 °C. This indicates that the reaction of Sb<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> with GaSb is thermally enhanced. Based on these results, we conclude that Ga<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> and/or elemental Sb may lead to an additional leakage path. Hence, suppression of the thermal decomposition of Sb-related oxides during Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub> deposition is required to obtain good passivation effects.
In the development of InAs/GaSb Type-II superlattice (T2SL) infrared photodetectors, the surface leakage current at
the mesa sidewall must be suppressed. To achieve this requirement, both the surface treatment and the passivation layer
are key technologies. As a starting point to design these processes, we investigated the GaSb oxide in terms of its growth
and thermal stability. We found that the formation of GaSb oxide was very different from those of GaAs. Both Ga and
Sb are oxidized at the surface of GaSb. In contrast, only Ga is oxidized and As is barely oxidized in the case of GaAs.
Interestingly, the GaSb oxide can be formed even in DI water, which results in a very thick oxide film over 40 nm after
120 minutes. To examine the thermal stability, the GaSb native oxide was annealed in a vacuum and analyzed by XPS
and Raman spectroscopy. These analyses suggest that SbO<sub>x</sub> in the GaSb native oxide will be reduced to metallic Sb
above 300°C. To directly evaluate the effect of oxide instability on the device performance, a T2SL p-i-n photodetector
was fabricated that has a cutoff wavelength of about 4 μm at 80 K. As a result, the surface leakage component was
increased by the post annealing at 325°C. On the basis of these results, it is possible to speculate that a part of GaSb
oxide on the sidewall surface will be reduced to metallic Sb, which acts as an origin of additional leakage current path.