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Proceedings Paper

Polarimetric characterization of semiconductor materials for photodetector applications
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Paper Abstract

Polarization effects are typically assumed to be negligible in semi-conductor photo-detectors. However, effects on the order of a few percent or less have occasionally been reported. Such reports have been difficult to assess because they are typically at or near measurement limits. Because remote sensing technology currently under consideration requires calibration precision of 3 % or less, these effects can no longer be ignored. We have recently carried out a set of high-quality polarimetric measurements of semi-conductor photo-detector materials across appropriate wavelength ranges in order to develop a better understanding of polarization effects on photo-detector response. Samples studied include GaAs and Si. The wavelength range was chosen to encompass the transition between strongly absorbing and non-absorbing for these materials. In addition, GaAs was compared with Si in order to better understand the contribution of bi-refringence effects in the regime of high optical absorption as required for efficient photo-detection. Mueller matrix data were obtained in order to allow prediction of photo-detectors over a wide range of angles of incidence under polarized illumination. This understanding is of interest for applications that require very fast optics, which is often the case for systems that operate in “photon-starved” environments.

Paper Details

Date Published: 12 December 2003
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5158, Polarization Science and Remote Sensing, (12 December 2003); doi: 10.1117/12.506077
Show Author Affiliations
James A. McAdoo, ITT Industries (United States)
Judy A. Fennelly, ITT Industries (United States)
Dennis H. Goldstein, Air Force Research Lab. (United States)
David B. Chenault, SY Technology, Inc./L-3 Communications Corp., Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5158:
Polarization Science and Remote Sensing
Joseph A. Shaw; J. Scott Tyo, Editor(s)

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