Theoretical study of potential ultralow-noise confined-state photodetectors

Yang Wang, Nabil Mansour, Ali Salem, Kevin F. Brennan, P. P. Ruden

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


The purpose of this paper is to present a review of the basic issues implicit in the design of confined state photodetectors. The basic device structure consists of repeated unit cells each comprised of a narrow gap semiconductor layer sandwiched between barrier layers of wider band gap material. Gain in these structures is derived through carrier multiplication via impact excitation of confined electrons out of the narrow gap semiconductor layer. Different device designs are considered in an attempt to maximize the device gain at minimum dark current. In some implementations, the barrier layers are chosen to be graded such that the leading edge discontinuity is at least twice that at the trailing edge of the well forming an asymmetric well design. It is found that an asymmetric well design offers a much higher impact excitation of electrons confined within the well at lower operating voltage than a symmetric well design however at the expense of increased dark current. Quantum versus classical confinement of the electrons within the well is also investigated.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
PublisherPubl by Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers
Number of pages16
ISBN (Print)0819412716, 9780819412713
StatePublished - 1993

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DCI-8607831.


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