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GaN/AlGaN avalanche photodiode detectors for high performance ultraviolet sensing applications
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Paper Abstract

The shorter wavelengths of the ultraviolet (UV) band enable detectors to operate with increased spatial resolution, variable pixel sizes, and large format arrays, benefitting a variety of NASA, defense, and commercial applications. AlxGa1-xN semiconductor alloys, which have attracted much interest for detection in the UV spectral region, have been shown to enable high optical gains, high sensitivities with the potential for single photon detection, and low dark current performance in ultraviolet avalanche photodiodes (UV-APDs). We are developing GaN/AlGaN UV-APDs with large pixel sizes that demonstrate consistent and uniform device performance and operation. These UV-APDs are fabricated through high quality metal organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) growth on lattice-matched, low dislocation density GaN substrates with optimized material growth and doping parameters. The use of these low defect density substrates is a critical element to realizing highly sensitive UV-APDs and arrays with suppressed dark current under high electric fields. Optical gains greater than 5×106 with enhanced quantum efficiencies over the 350-400 nm spectral range have been demonstrated, enabled by a strong avalanche multiplication process. Furthermore, we are developing 6×6 arrays of devices to test high gain UV-APD array performance at ~355 nm. These variable-area GaN/AlGaN UV-APD detectors and arrays enable advanced sensing performance over UV bands of interest with high resolution detection for NASA Earth Science applications.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 September 2019
PDF: 10 pages
Proc. SPIE 11129, Infrared Sensors, Devices, and Applications IX, 111290F (9 September 2019); doi: 10.1117/12.2531644
Show Author Affiliations
Ashok K. Sood, Magnolia Optical Technologies, Inc. (United States)
John W. Zeller, Magnolia Optical Technologies. Inc. (United States)
Parminder Ghuman, NASA Earth Science Technology Office (United States)
Sachidananda Babu, NASA Earth Science Technology Office (United States)
Russell D. Dupuis, Georgia Institute of Technology (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11129:
Infrared Sensors, Devices, and Applications IX
Paul D. LeVan; Priyalal Wijewarnasuriya; Ashok K. Sood, Editor(s)

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