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Proceedings Paper

Characteristics of avalanche electroluminescent nanoscale Si light sources in SOI technology
Author(s): Christo Janse van Rensburg; Monuko du Plessis; Petrus J. Venter
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Paper Abstract

Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) is fast becoming a popular technology platform for silicon photonic devices as well as RFand nanoelectronics, while the field of nanoscale silicon structures remains an active topic in optoelectronic research. Silicon light sources with an active material only a couple of nanometers in dimension has several distinct advantages for enhanced light emission due to carrier confinement and improved external light extraction efficiency when compared to bulk CMOS light sources. This work focuses on these inherent advantages, where the design of nanoscale silicon light source arrays implemented in a custom SOI process, is presented utilizing hot carrier luminescence generated by avalanching pn-junctions. SOI light sources have shown an improvement in electroluminescent power emitted through various techniques inducing carrier confinement effects. These techniques are typically applied by either thinning the silicon active material in one or two dimensions. Conventional nanoscale SOI LEDs usually depend on recombination in forward-biased junctions. The wavelengths of interest are consequently in the near-infrared range around the band gap energy. In contrast, the device structures presented in this paper is based on hot carrier electroluminescence utilizing reach-through and punch-through techniques. We present the power spectral densities of the structures over a very wide spectral range also covering the visible wavelengths. The spectral characteristics of the SOI light sources were investigated and the dominant light generation mechanisms were identified. This work compares various device structures and light source architectures and the results presented exemplify the possibilities of SOI light sources for future applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 8 March 2014
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8990, Silicon Photonics IX, 89900K (8 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2039617
Show Author Affiliations
Christo Janse van Rensburg, INSiAVA (Pty) Ltd. (South Africa)
Monuko du Plessis, Univ. of Pretoria (South Africa)
Petrus J. Venter, Univ. of Pretoria (South Africa)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8990:
Silicon Photonics IX
Joel Kubby; Graham T. Reed, Editor(s)

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