Optical phased arrays (OPAs) are widely used in many applications to realize high-speed optical beam scanning. At present OPAs often suffer from limited scanning range. Here we propose a circular optical phased array (COPA) based on silicon photonics platform. According to our simulations, by positioning the OPA units in a circle and adopting a specific phase distribution, the COPA can realize 360° constant amplitude scanning. In addition, the design of the disk grating coupler, which is the key device of the COPA, is presented. The COPA is believed to have great potential for applications where a wide scanning range is mandatory.
Recently the GaN/AlN multi-quantum-well structure avalanche photodiode (MAPD) has been demonstrated with PMT-like multiplication gain larger than 1E4. In this work, the photocurrent of GaN/AlN MAPD has been investigated and negative differential conductance (NDC) is found in the photocurrent characteristic of MAPD. Through self-consistent calculation, conduction band structure and discrete energy states in each quantum well layer have been obtained for MAPD. The discrete states drop down and align with the conduction band edge of absorption layer around the NDC peak voltage, so the NDC feature is proposed as resonant tunneling of photoelectrons into MQW structure. The proposed resonant tunneling process is confirmed by the observation of resonant tunneling peaks in a specially designed resonant tunneling diode simulating the band profile of MAPD. The finding of NDC feature is beneficial for understanding and increasing the quantum efficiency of MAPD, since the photoelectron blocking at AlN barrier is greatly reduced by the resonant tunneling process.
Measurement of carrier lifetime is very important to understand the physics in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), as it builds a link between carrier concentration and excitation power or current density. In this paper, we present our study on optical and electrical characterizations on carrier lifetimes in polar InGaN-based LEDs. First, a carrier rate equation model is proposed to explain the non-exponential nature of time-resolved photoluminescence (TRPL) decay curves, wherein exciton recombination is replaced by bimolecular recombination, considering the influence of polarization field on electron-hole pairs. Then, nonradiative recombination and radiative recombination coefficients can be deduced from fitting and used to calculate the radiative recombination efficiency. By comparing with the temperature-dependent photoluminescence (TDPL) and power-dependent photoluminescence (PDPL), it is found these three methods provide the consistent results. Second, differential carrier lifetimes depending on injection current are measured in commercial near-ultraviolet (NUV), blue and green LEDs. It is found that carrier lifetime is longer in green one and shorter in NUV one, which is attributed to the influence of polarization-induced quantum confined Stark effect (QCSE). This result implies the carrier density is higher in green LED while lower NUV LED, even the injection current is the same. By ignoring Auger recombination and fitting the efficiency–current and carrier lifetime–current curves simultaneously, the dependence of injection efficiency on carrier concentration in different LED samples are plotted. The NUV LED, which has the shallowest InGaN quantum well, actually exhibits the most serious efficiency droop versus carrier concentration. Then, the approaches to overcome the efficiency droop are discussed.
The high-gain photomultiplier tube (PMT) is the most popular method to detect weak ultra-violet signals which attenuate quickly in atmosphere, although the vacuum tube makes it fragile and difficult to integrate. To overcome the disadvantage of PMT, an AlN/GaN periodically–stacked-structure (PSS) avalanche photodiode (APD) has been proposed, finally achieving good quality of high gain and low excessive noise. As there is a deep г valley only in the conduction band of both GaN and AlN, the electron transfers suffering less scattering and thus becomes easier to obtain the threshold of ionization impact. Because of unipolar ionization in the PSS APD, it works in linear mode. Four prototype devices of 5-period, 10-period, 15-period, and 20-period were fabricated to verify that the gain of APD increases exponentially with period number. And in 20-period device, a recorded high and stable gain of 104 was achieved under constant bias. In addition, it is proved both experimentally and theoretically, that temperature stability on gain is significantly improved in PSS APD. And it is found that the resonant enhancement in interfacial ionization may bring significant enhancement of electron ionization performance. To make further progress in PSS APD, the device structure is investigated by simulation. Both the gain and temperature stability are optimized alternatively by a proper design of periodical thickness and AlN layer occupancy.
The next generation infrared (IR) detection technology demands for very-large-format focal plane arrays (FPAs) with
high performance. Semiconductor up-converters can convert IR photons to near-infrared (NIR) photons, and can be
potential candidates for large-format IR imaging since the mechanical bonding with the read-out circuits can be avoided.
However, previously reported up-converters and corresponding up-conversion systems suffer from low detectivity
because of the trade-off between responsivity and dark current. To solve this issue, a cascade infrared up-converter
(CIUP) is demonstrated in this work. Based on a quantum cascade transport mechanism, high IR responsivity is achieved
while the dark current is maintained fairly low. A 4-μm InGaAs/AlGaAs CIUP has been fabricated, and both the CIUP
and up-conversion system are under background-limited infrared performance (BLIP) regime below 120 K. The upconversion
efficiency is 2.1 mW/W at 3.3 V and 78 K. Taking shot noise as the main noise in the up-conversion system,
the BLIP detectivity of the system is 2.4×10<sup>9</sup> Jones at 3.3 V and 78 K, higher than the semiconductor up-converters at
similar wavelengths reported so far. To further improve the CIUP performance, an AlInP hole-blocking layer is
introduced taking place of the AlAs layer. AlInP/GaAs has larger valence band discontinuity than AlAs/GaAs, showing
the advantage of tightly confining injected holes into the emission quantum well. By adopting the AlInP hole-blocking
layer, the quantum efficiency and detectivity of the up-conversion system can be enhanced.