Optical Engineering • Open AccessFabrication of resonator–quantum well infrared photodetector focal plane array by inductively coupled plasma etching
Inductively coupled plasma (ICP) etching has distinct advantages over reactive ion etching in that the etching rates are considerably higher, the uniformity is much better, and the sidewalls of the etched material are highly anisotropic due to the higher plasma density and lower operating pressure. Therefore, ICP etching is a promising process for pattern transfer required during microelectronic and optoelectronic fabrication. Resonator–quantum well infrared photodetectors (R-QWIPs) are the next generation of QWIP detectors that use resonances to increase the quantum efficiency (QE). To fabricate R-QWIP focal plane arrays (FPAs), two optimized ICP etching processes are developed. Using these etching techniques, we have fabricated R-QWIP FPAs of several different formats and pixel sizes with the required dimensions and completely removed the substrates of the FPAs. Their QE spectra were tested to be 30 to 40%. The operability and spectral nonuniformity of the FPA is ∼99.5 and 3%, respectively.