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Design of a back-illuminated, crystallographically etched, silicon-on-sapphire avalanche photodiode with monolithically integrated microlens, for dual-mode passive & active imaging arrays
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Paper Abstract

There is a growing need in space and environmental research applications for dual-mode, passive and active 2D and 3D ladar imaging methods. To fill this need, an advanced back-illuminated avalanche photodiode (APD) design is presented based on crystallographically etched (100) epitaxial silicon on R-plane sapphire (SOS), enabling single photon sensitive, solid-state focal plane arrays (FPAs) with wide dynamic range, supporting passive and active imaging capability in a single FPA. When (100) silicon is properly etched with KOH:IPA:H2O solution through a thermally grown oxide mask, square based pyramidal frustum or mesa arrays result with the four mesa sidewalls of the APD formed by (111) silicon planes that intersect the (100) planes at a crystallographic angle, Φc = 54.7°. The APD device is fabricated in the mesa using conventional silicon processing technology. Detectors are back-illuminated through light focusing microlenses fabricated in the thinned, AR-coated sapphire substrate. The APDs share a common, front-side anode contact, made locally at the base of each device mesa. A low resistance (Al) or (Cu) metal anode grid fills the space between pixels and also inhibits optical cross-talk. SOS-APD arrays are indium bump-bonded to CMOS readout ICs to produce hybrid FPAs. The quantum efficiency for the square 27 µm pixels exceeds 50% for 250 nm < λ < 400 nm and exceeds 80% for 400 nm < λ < 700 nm. The sapphire microlenses compensate detector quantum efficiency loss resulting from the mesa geometry and yield 100% sensitive-area-fill-factor arrays, limited in size only by the wafer diameter.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 December 2008
PDF: 13 pages
Proc. SPIE 7153, Lidar Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring IX, 71530Z (9 December 2008); doi: 10.1117/12.804846
Show Author Affiliations
Alvin G. Stern, Boston Univ. (United States)
Daniel C. Cole, Boston Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7153:
Lidar Remote Sensing for Environmental Monitoring IX
Upendra N. Singh; Kazuhiro Asai; Achuthan Jayaraman, Editor(s)

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