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Proceedings Paper

The HgCdTe electron avalanche photodiode
Author(s): Jeffrey D. Beck; Chang-Feng Wan; Michael A. Kinch; James E. Robinson; Pradip Mitra; Richard E. Scritchfield; Feng Ma; Joe C. Campbell
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Paper Abstract

Electron injection avalanche photodiodes in SWIR to LWIR HgCdTe show gain and excess noise properties indicative of a single ionizing carrier gain process. The result is an electron avalanche photodiode (EAPD) with "ideal" APD characteristics including near noiseless gain. This paper reports results obtained on long-wave, mid-wave, and short wave cutoff infrared HgCdTe EAPDs that utilize a cylindrical "p-around-n", front side illuminated, n+/n-/p geometry that favors electron injection into the gain region. These devices are characterized by a uniform, exponential, gain voltage characteristic that is consistent with a hole-to-electron ionization coefficient ratio, k, of zero. Gains of greater than 1000 have been measured in MWIR EAPDS without any sign of avalanche breakdown. Excess noise measurements on MWIR and SWIR EAPDs show a gain independent excess noise factor at high gains that has a limiting value less than 2. At 77 K, 4.3 μm cutoff devices show excess noise factors of close to unity out to gains of 1000. The excess noise factor at room temperature on SWIR EAPDs, while still consistent with the k = 0 operation, approaches a gain independent limiting value of just under 2. The k = 0 operation is explained by the band structure of the HgCdTe. Monte Carlo modeling based on the band structure and scattering models for HgCdTe predict the measured gain and excess noise behavior. A noise equivalent input of 7.5 photons at a 10 ns pulsed signal gain of 964, measured on an MWIR APD at 77 K, provides an indication of the capability of the HgCdTe EAPD.

Paper Details

Date Published: 22 October 2004
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 5564, Infrared Detector Materials and Devices, (22 October 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.565142
Show Author Affiliations
Jeffrey D. Beck, DRS Infrared Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Chang-Feng Wan, DRS Infrared Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Michael A. Kinch, DRS Infrared Technologies, Inc. (United States)
James E. Robinson, DRS Infrared Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Pradip Mitra, DRS Infrared Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Richard E. Scritchfield, DRS Infrared Technologies, Inc. (United States)
Feng Ma, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)
Joe C. Campbell, Univ. of Texas/Austin (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5564:
Infrared Detector Materials and Devices
Randolph E. Longshore; Sivalingam Sivananthan, Editor(s)

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