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Proceedings Paper

III-nitride/SiC avalanche photodetectors for enabling compact biological agent identification and detection
Author(s): A. V. Sampath; R. W. Enck; C. S. Gallinat; H. Shen; M. Wraback; Q. Zhou; D. McIntosh; J. C. Campbell
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Paper Abstract

The development of low cost and compact biological agent identification and detection systems, which can be employed in place-and-forget applications or on unmanned vehicles, is constrained by the photodetector currently available. The commonly used photomultiplier tube has significant disadvantages that include high cost, fragility, high voltage operation and poor quantum efficiency in the deep ultraviolet (240-260nm) necessary for methods such as fluorescence-free Raman spectroscopy. A III-Nitride/ SiC separate absorption and multiplication avalanche photodiode (SAM-APD) offers a novel approach for fabricating high gain photodetectors with tunable absorption over a wide spectrum from the visible to deep ultraviolet. However, unlike conventional heterojunction SAM APDs, the performance of these devices are affected by the presence of defects and polarization induced charge at the heterointerface arising from the lattice mismatch and difference in spontaneous polarization between the GaN absorption and the SiC multiplication regions. In this paper we report on the role of defect density and interface charge on the performance of GaN/SiC SAM APDs through simulations of the electric field profile within this device structure and experimental results on fabricated APDs. These devices exhibit a low dark current below 0.1 nA before avalanche breakdown and high avalanche gain in excess of 1000 with active areas 25x larger than that of state of the art GaN APDs. A responsivity of 4 A/W was measured at 365 nm when biased near avalanche breakdown.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 May 2012
PDF: 9 pages
Proc. SPIE 8376, Photonic Microdevices/Microstructures for Sensing IV, 83760O (19 May 2012); doi: 10.1117/12.918866
Show Author Affiliations
A. V. Sampath, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
R. W. Enck, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
C. S. Gallinat, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
H. Shen, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
M. Wraback, U.S. Army Research Lab. (United States)
Q. Zhou, Univ. of Virginia (United States)
D. McIntosh, Univ. of Virginia (United States)
J. C. Campbell, Univ. of Virginia (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8376:
Photonic Microdevices/Microstructures for Sensing IV
Xudong Fan; Hai Xiao; Anbo Wang, Editor(s)

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