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Proceedings Paper

Design Issues Of Confined Quantum State Photomultipliers
Author(s): Kevin F. Brennan
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Paper Abstract

We present a discussion of the critical issues in the design of a solid state photo-multiplier based on avalanche multiplication of carriers out of confined quantum states. Standard avalanche photodiodes utilize interband impact ionization to provide gain and as such produce electron-hole pairs. As is well known, low noise, high speed performance in these devices is typically frustrated by secondary hole ionization events. In order to overcome these limitations it is desirable to develop an avalanching unipolar solid-state device. Such a scheme is possible based on impact ionization of carriers out of confined quantum states. We present calculations of the impact ionization rate, gain, and dark current in representative GaAs/AlGaAs structures. Our model calculations are based on the average ionization rate calculated from the quantum mechanical transition rate assuming a drifted Maxwellian initial carrier distribution. It is found that the highest gain is attainable in an asymmetric quantum well structure in which the second barrier height is half as large as the initial barrier height. The effect of the electric field, and quantum well doping concentration on the device performance is assessed. Parallels are then drawn between the GaAs/A1GaAs device and a GaN/A1GaN device. It is expected that the GaN/A1GaN materials system is better suited than the GaAs/A1GaAs system for quantum confined state photomultipliers.

Paper Details

Date Published: 28 December 1989
PDF: 11 pages
Proc. SPIE 1158, Ultraviolet Technology III, (28 December 1989); doi: 10.1117/12.962538
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin F. Brennan, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1158:
Ultraviolet Technology III
Robert E. Huffman, Editor(s)

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