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Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Low Noise Avalanche Low Noise Avalanche PhotodiodesPhotodiodes

John P. R. DavidJohn P. R. DavidElectronic & Electrical EngineeringElectronic & Electrical Engineering

University of Sheffield, U.K.University of Sheffield, U.K.

Talk OutlineF APD backgroundF Low noise mechanisms in

thin p+-i-n+sF Temperature dependenceF APD speedF Conclusions

Talk OutlineF APD backgroundF Low noise mechanisms in

thin p+-i-n+sF Temperature dependenceF APD speedF Conclusions

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

National Centre for III-V Technologies,University of Sheffield, UK

H Established in Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield in 1978

H Mission: To provide III-V wafers & devices to the UK academic community

H Current Capability: 2 MBE, 3 MOVPE, Device Fabrication, Characterisation

H Staff: 10 scientists, 6 techniciansH Growth output: 750 wafers/yearH Optical wafers & devices: Lasers, LEDs,

VCSELs, RC-LEDs, waveguides, modulators, AFPMs, pins, APDs, Q-Dot lasers, Q-Cascade lasers

H Electrical wafers & devices: HBTs, HEMTs, diodes

H Established in Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering, University of Sheffield in 1978

HH MissionMission: To provide III-V wafers & devices to the UK academic community

HH Current CapabilityCurrent Capability: 2 MBE, 3 MOVPE, Device Fabrication, Characterisation

HH StaffStaff: 10 scientists, 6 techniciansHH Growth outputGrowth output: 750 wafers/yearHH Optical wafers & devicesOptical wafers & devices: Lasers, LEDs,

VCSELs, RC-LEDs, waveguides, modulators, AFPMs, pins, APDs, Q-Dot lasers, Q-Cascade lasers

HH Electrical wafers & devicesElectrical wafers & devices: HBTs, HEMTs, diodes

180 miles180 miles

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

APD Research at Sheffield

•• Impact ionization coefficient investigation • New materials and novel structures• ‘Dead-space’ characterization• Excess noise m easur ements • Temperature dependence• Analytical and numerical m odelling• Low-noise, high -speed avalanche photodiodes• Single photon avalanche photodiodes ( SPADs)

Devices

Physics

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Generic communication system

Signal carryingmedium

Transmitter Receiver

inputdata

bits/s

output

Repeaterspacing X km

Communication capacity - Bit rate length product= repeater spacing*data rate {X [km]*Bandwidth [b/s]}

Using an APD can increase repeater spacing

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

p-i-n vs. APD

Reverse Bias Voltage

Ph

oto

curr

ent

p-i-n operating range

APD operating range

p-i-n] low voltage] bias insensitive] temperature

insensitive] simple bias circuit] fast] simple bias circuit] cheap

APD] high sensitivity] single photon detection

(possibility)

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Technology Comparison

PhotomultipliersPhotomultipliers

+ High gain (~106)+ Low dark current+ Low noise? Reliability

+ Inexpensive+ Compact+ Rugged+ High detectivity+ High reliability+ Simpler, cheaper filters+ Reasonable gain+ High efficiency+ Low voltage (<100V)

Avalanche Avalanche photodiodesphotodiodes

- Expensive - Poor efficiency- Complex filters- Bulky- Fragile- High voltage (~1kV) - High noise

- Temperature sensitive

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Comparison of three detector types

PIN-FET Ge APD InGaAs APD

Sensitivity X dBm (X+4) dBm (X+8) dBm

Cost Moderate Moderate High

Wavelength 1.3µm & 1.5µm 1.3µm 1.3µm & 1.5µm

Reliability 1011 hrs 106hrs 106hrs

u An InGaAs APD requires 8dB less optical power to produce the same signal as a PIN-FET.

u PIN-FET is cheaper, faster and more reliable.

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

p-i-n vs. APDSe

nsiti

vity

(Se

nsiti

vity

( dB

mdB

m))

Bit Rate (GB/s)Bit Rate (GB/s)

Comparison of sensitivity

ð APDs can have an extra -8dBm sensitivity c.f. p-i-n

ð APD advantage reduces as speed increases

ð APDs can have an extra -8dBm sensitivity c.f. p-i-n

ð APD advantage reduces as speed increases

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

InGaAs/InP SAM-APD

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Electric field distribution in a SAM-APD

EInP = 400kV/cm

EInP = 350kV/cm

EInP = 150kV/cm

EInGaAs ~230kV/cm

EInGaAs <170kV/cm

Ele

ctri

c F

ield

wm≈ 500nmwc=150nm

wa ≈ 1500nm

EInGaAs = 0kV/cm

InGaAs absorption region

Q1.5-1.1 grade

InP

multiplication

region

Slow, poor quantum efficiency, low gain

Optimum speed, quantum efficiency & gain

Slow, high gain, high dark current

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Punch-through ~ 16V Breakdown ~ 39V

SAM-APD Current-Voltage Characteristics

Reverse bias (V)10 20 30 40

Pho

to/D

ark

Cur

rent

(A)

10-11

10-10

10-9

10-8

10-7

10-6

10-5

10-4

10-3

10-2

0

20

40

60

80

100

Photocurrent

Dark current

Gain

Vph ~ 16V

Photocurrent and dark current

Low dark current even at high multiplication gains (> 50) (< 70nA @ 0.9 Vbd)

Low dark current even at high multiplication gains (> 50) (< 70nA @ 0.9 Vbd)

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

APD Vendors

Vendors Sensitivity(dBm)

VBD (V) ∆ VBD (V/°C) 3DB bandwidth(GHz)

Misc:

JDSU ERM577 -32 40-70 1.8 10nA@ VBD -1.58.5uA/uW@ VBD -1.5

MitsubishiFU319SPA

-33 35-75 0.12 1.9

AgereP173A

-34 45-70 0.07-0.14 2

FujitsuFRM5W232BS

-34 50 0.12 2.5

Nova CrystalsNVR251

- 29-32 0.03 Fused InGaAs/Si

NEC 8501 40-80 0.1 3 [email protected] VBD

Alcatel 1914 30-75 3.5 [email protected] VBDSensors UnlimitedSU-10ATR

-24 25-42 6 5nA@ VBD -1

MitsubishiFU321SPA

-25 20-40 0.05 7

JDSU ERM578 -22 20-40 7NEC 4270 -25 16-32 0.02 8 Superlattice APD

(k=0.4)

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Ionization - Threshold energy

final electron valence electron

hole

hot electron

mlh

mhh

ms-o

me

Eth

Eg

EEgg = Band gap= Band gapEEthth = Threshold energy= Threshold energy‘minimum energy for ‘minimum energy for ionization’ionization’

For parabolic bands For parabolic bands and equal masses,and equal masses,EEthth = 1.5 = 1.5 EEgg

For For ionizationionization::1)1) energy and momentum conservationenergy and momentum conservation2)2) minimisation of energyminimisation of energy

Impact ionization schematic diagram

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

High field region 1injectedelectron

7 collectedelectrons

Me = 7

electronhole

tim

e

Multiplication buildup time required to achieve M

Multiplication process

J Multiplication= current out/current in

J Avalanche takes time to build-up

J Multiplication= current out/current in

J Avalanche takes time to build-up

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Excess avalanche noise

Reverse bias in Volts0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Mea

n M

ultip

licat

ion,

<M

>

0

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

Mean Multiplication <M>Noise on Multiplication

Multiplication buildup time required to achieve M Ø An APD can give us

gain.

Ø Unfortunately the avalanche noise can degrade the S/N ratio.

Ø An optimum value for < M> exists.

Ø An APD can give us gain.

Ø Unfortunately the avalanche noise can degrade the S/N ratio.

Ø An optimum value for < M> exists.

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

An ideal avalanche photodiode

Mean SquareNoise current=

2 2eI BMphoto

APDbiasedto Gain = M

Iphoto MIphoto

noise current=

2eI Bphoto

/Non ideal APDS = 2eIphotoBM2 F

where F = excess noise factor

/For an ideal APD F = 1

/Non ideal APDS = 2eIphotoBM2 F

where F = excess noise factor

/For an ideal APD F = 1

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

ò APD’s rely on internal gain to improve S/N ratio

ò Impact ionization process ⇒ stochastic ⇒ avalanche noise

ò Excess avalanche noise limits APD’s maximum useful gain, M

ò In bulk structure, large β/α (or α/β) ratio required for low excess noise

ò APD’s rely on internal internal gaingain to improve S/N ratio

ò Impact ionization process ⇒ stochasticstochastic ⇒ avalanche noise

ò Excess avalanche noise limits APD’s maximum useful gain, M

ò In bulk structure, large β/α (or α/β) ratio required for low excess noise

Background

Multiplication factor

Log

(Pow

er) AP

D noise

APD signal

M=1 Mopt

OptimumSNR

Preamplifiernoise floor

Reverse bias voltage

Mea

n m

ultip

licat

ion Ideal

Real

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Photodetectors - S/N

p-i-n photodiode and amplifier

equiv. amp. noisesource

__ i2

AMP

A[W] Vo( )S

N

I

iph

amp

=

2

2( )

Iph

__ i2AMP__

i2AVAL(M)

M VoA[W]

( )22

2

AVALamp

ph

ii

MINS

+=

Iph

Avalanche photodiode and amplifier

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

McIntyre’s avalanche noise theory (1966)

F M Mk

kM

M( ) (

( ))= +

− −

11 1 2

k = βα

ê α = electron probability of ionization per unit length [m-1]

ê β = hole probability of ionization per unit length [m-1]

where

Assumes:Ê Multiplication process does not depend

on carrier history.Ë k = β /α is a constant

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

McIntyre’s model for electron injection F v Me

Multiplication, M

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 91 10

Exc

ess

Noi

se F

acto

r, F

1.5

2.5

3.5

4.5

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

k = 0

k = 1

0.4

0.2

0.6

The excess noise depends only on the ionization coefficient ratio (k) and the multiplication value.Larger ionizing carrier type should initiate avalanche.

k = β / ak = β / a

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

GaAs Ionization Coefficients

1/E (cm/V)

0e+0 2e-6 4e-6 6e-6

Ioni

zati

on c

oeff

icie

nts

(cm

-1)

102

103

104

105

106

β

α

α≈β

0.5µm

1µm

0.1µm

k = β/α = 1 0.9 0.8

Field dependence of GaAsionization coefficients

v Most III-V semiconductors have 0.4 ≤ k ≤ 2.5

v High excess noise expected, especially at higher electric fields when k→1

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Ionization Coefficients

Reverse Voltage (V)0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

Pho

tom

ultip

licat

ion

(arb

. uni

ts)

1

2

3

4

5

6

M e(Si)

Mh(Si) M e(GaAs)

Mh(GaAs)

α = −−

1 1W

MM M

MM

e

e h

e

h

ln

β =−

−

1 1W

MM M

MM

h

h e

h

e

ln

Me and Mh for 1µm Si and GaAs pinsSimple relationship between α, β andmultiplication characteristics in pins.

GaAs & Si have similar Vbd butvery different α/β ratios.

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Excess noise in Si and GaAs, Me

Multiplication, M

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 91 10

Exc

ess

Noi

se F

acto

r, F

1.5

2.5

3.5

4.5

1.0

2.0

3.0

4.0

5.0

McIntyreGaAs Si

k=0

0.2

0.4

0.60.8k=1.0

Ü In thick structures, the excess noise F is determined by k, the β/α ratio.

Ü Silicon has a small kcompared to GaAs, hence low noise.

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Enhancement of Ionization by MQW’s

Inverse electric field (x10-5 cm/V)

0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6

Ele

ctro

n io

nisa

tion

coef

ficie

nts

(/cm

)

101

102

103

104

105

Bulk GaAs

MQWCapasso's data

AlGaAs

GaAs∆Ec

∆Ev

Ec

Ev

p+

n+

electrons

Chin et al. (1980) postulated that a large êEc would enhance α

Capasso et al. (1982) reported a large enhancement in α ?in

AlGaAs/GaAs MQW’s

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Schematic of a SAM-APD

JLight is absorbed in thick InGaAs layer

JPhotogenerated holes impact ionize in InP

JConventional designs involve thick multiplication layers, so that α/β ratio is small, to achieve low excess noise

JLight is absorbed in thick InGaAs layer

JPhotogenerated holes impact ionize in InP

JConventional designs involve thick multiplication layers, so that α/β ratio is small, to achieve low excess noise

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

p-i-n diode schematic

Pure Me & Mh obtained by illuminating thick p+ & n+

layers with short wavelength illumination.

n+-i-p+ s also grown to obtain Mh more easily.

VR

1µm p+intrinsic

1µm n+

hv

hv

Me

Mh

Intrinsic thickness, w varies from 1µm to 0.05µm.

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Multiplication from GaAs p+-i-n+s

Reverse bias (V)0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35

Mul

tipl

icat

ion,

M

0

1

2

3

4

black: Me, red: Mh

1µm

0.1µm

0.5µm

0.025µm

0.05µm

Multiplication factors Ø Me and Mh were measured in different thickness p+-i-n+s.

Ø Lock-in techniques allow Meand Mh to be determined in the presence of large dark currents.

Ø Me ≈ Mh as ‘w’ decreases, suggesting that α ≈ β

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Excess noise in GaAs p+-i-n+s

Multiplication, Me

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 91 10

Exc

ess

Noi

se F

acto

r, F

1

2

3

4

5w = 1µmw = 0.5µmw = 0.3µmw = 0.2µmw = 0.1µmw = 0.049µm

Expected convergencewith decreasing w

k = 0

k = 1 0.4

0.2

0.6

The excess noise decreases as w decreases, instead of increasing as k→1

Electron initiated noise measurements showed unexpected and significant noise reduction as w became smaller

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Excess noise in GaAs n+-i-p+s

The excess noise decreasesas w decreases, instead of increasing according to k.

Hole initiated noise measurements also showed unexpected and significant noise reduction as w became smaller

Behavior cannot be explained by McIntyre theory

Multiplication, Mh

2 3 4 5 6 7 8 91 10

Exc

ess

Noi

se F

acto

r, F

1

2

3

4

5w = 0.2µmw = 0.1µmw = 0.05µm

Expected convergencewith decreasing w

k = 0

k = 1 0.4

0.2

0.6

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Multiplication characteristics in InP

Reverse bias (V)0 20 40 60 80 100

Mul

tiplic

atio

n, M

2

4

6

8

0

10

w = 0.24µmw = 0.33µmw = 0.48µmw = 0.90µmw = 2.40µm

Fujitsu SAM-APD

Measured Me (symbols)

Calculated Me (solid lines)using bulk ionization coefficients

Measured Me (symbols)

Calculated Me (solid lines)using bulk ionization coefficients

Multiplication factors

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Excess noise factor in InP

Multiplication, M

1 10

Exc

ess

nois

e fa

ctor

, F

5

10

15k=2.4

k=1

k=0

decreasing w

Fujitsu SAM APD

k=0.4

F(M)ð Same symbols as beforeð Noise measured using

wrong (electron) carrier type

ð Fujitsu SAM-APD gives β/α = 1.4 ∴ keff = 0.7

ð Structure with w = 0.24 gives keff = 0.4 - much better than SAM-APD with hole multiplication

ð Low noise possible even with electron injection with thin w

ð Same symbols as beforeð Noise measured using

wrong (electron) carrier type

ð Fujitsu SAM-APD gives β/α = 1.4 ∴ keff = 0.7

ð Structure with w = 0.24 gives keff = 0.4 - much better than SAM-APD with hole multiplication

ð Low noise possible even with electron injection with thin w

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Multiplication characteristics in Silicon

Reverse bias (V)

5 10 15 20 25 30

Mul

tiplic

atio

n, M

0

2

4

6

8

10

w = 0.18µm

w = 0.12µm

w = 0.32µm

w = 0.84µm

(n+-i-p+)

Measurement of Mh and Mmix on 0.84µm n+-i-p+

Measurement of Me and Mmix on 0.32, 0.18, 0.12µm p+-i-n+s

Multiplication factors

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Local noise model prediction vs. experiment in submicron Si p+-i-n+s

Multiplication, M2 4 6 8 10

Exc

ess

Noi

se F

acto

r, F

2

4

6

8

10

k = 0.2

k = 0

blue: Me

black: McIntyre model

Fe(Me) 4 Local field noise model gives increasing excess noise from k = 0.4-0.7 as w decreases from 0.32-0.12µm.

4 Experiment shows that F(Me) however is virtually constant at k ≈ 0.2.

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Modeling of thin APD behavior

Modeling of thin APD behavior

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

McIntyre Noise Model

x

Pro

babi

lity

of io

niza

tion

Electronsα1

x

Pro

babi

lity

of i

oniz

atio

n

Holes

β1

H McIntyre’s noise model assumes that a carrier’s ionization probability is independent of distance probability density function (PDF) is exponential

H This assumption leads to the McIntyre expression for excess noise factor

H Avalanche noise depends on the β /α ratio

Probability density function of ionization

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Dead Space Models

x

Pro

babi

lity

of io

niza

tion

deadspace

x

Pro

babi

lity

of io

niza

tion

deadspace

α1

β1

�More realistic picture of ionization probability shows significant dead space at high electric field

�Presence of dead space reduces CoV makes multiplication more deterministic less noisy

�A significant dead space reduces the importance of the β/α ratio & the carrier type initiating multiplication

Probability density function of ionization

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Monte Carlo Estimation of F

w

Excess Noise Factor,

l Multiplication viaimpact ionization

1NeNh

NMMMM

M NN )...( 2121 −− ++++>=<

NMMMM

M NN )...( 22

21

22

212 −− ++++

>=<

Mtrial = 1 + Ne + Nh

2

2

><><

=MM

F

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Probability distribution of electron ionization path lengths (<M> = 5)

0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.00

1

2

3

Electron Ionization Path Length, le 0.00 0.02 0.04 0.06 0.08

Nor

mal

ised

Pro

babi

lity,

µm

-1

0

20

40

60

d

d

High Field: E = 960 kV/cm

Low Field: E = 380 kV/cm

(µm)

(µm)

<le> = 0.39µmCoV = 0.86

<le> = 0.032µmCoV = 0.31

Probability density function of ionization

CoV = stand. dev. in le / <le>CoV = stand. dev. in le / <le>

ÜAt low fieldsð relatively small dead space & low ionization probability

ÜAt high fieldsð relatively large dead space & higher ionization probability ðnarrow ionizationprobability distribution.

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Distribution of Multiplication for <M> = 5

0.0001

0.001

0.01

0.1

1

Multiplication, M e

0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70

Prob

abili

ty fu

nctio

n of

Mul

tiplic

atio

n, P

e(M

)

0.0001

0.001

0.01

0.1 w = 0.05µm E = 960 kV/cm F = 2.008

w = 0.5µm E = 380 kV/cm F = 2.933 2 There are more high

order multiplication events at lower electric fields, giving rise to more noise

Probability function of multipliplication

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Electr ic F ie ld kV/cm4 0 0 600 8 0 0 1 0 0 0

Pat

h le

ngth

, µ

m

0.01

0.1

1

Sca

tter

s/io

niz

atio

n e

ven

t1 0 1

1 0 2

1 0 3

1 0 4

Typical path lengths as a function of electric field

Monte Carlo model results

Scatters per ionization eventBallistic dead space

d = 2.1eV/qEMean ionization path length <le>

2 Scattering becomes less important as the electric field increases

2 Ionization tends towards ballistic ideal, i.e. like PMT

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Excess noise in p+-n diodes

P or N doping varies from2 x 1016 cm-3 to 3 x 1017 cm-3.

VR

1µm p+p / n type

1µm n+

hv

MeøReducing w in p+-i-n+s

reduces excess noise.

øHow does increasing doping i.e. electric field gradient affect noise?

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Electron Multiplication, Me

0 5 10 15 20

Exc

ess

Noi

se F

acto

r, F

0

5

10

15

Nd=2x1016cm-3

Nd=2x1017cm-3

Nd=1x1017cm-3

Nd=5x1016cm-3

P-I-Ns: w=1µm & 0.1µm

Simulated excess noise in P+N junctions(... primary electrons are injected into the HIGH field)

The excess noise is reducedby increasing the doping

For the same total depletionthickness, F(P+N) < F(P+-I-N+)

Simulated excess noise results

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Simulated excess noise in PN+ junctions(... primary electrons are injected into the LOW field)

The excess noise is againreduced by increased doping

For the same dopingmagnitude, F(PN+) isslightly greater than F(P+N)

Electron Multiplication, Me

0 5 10 15 20

Exc

ess

Noi

se F

acto

r, F

0

5

10

15

NA=2x1016cm-3

NA=2x1017cm-3

NA=1x1017cm-3

NA=5x1016cm-3

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Experimental results with electron injection

Electron multiplication, Me

0 5 10

Exc

ess

Noi

se F

acto

r, F

1

2

3

4 P+N:ND=6x1016

cm-3

PN+:NA=1x1017

cm-3

PN+:NA=3x1017

cm-3

Increasing the doping in thePN+ devices reduces noise

Experiment corroborates theory

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Effect of temperature variation on APD

performance

Effect of temperature variation on APD

performance

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

l APD multiplication is very temperature sensitiveNot a problem when input signal is large - BER increases when at the limit of sensitivity

l Breakdown variation is ~ 0.06-0.2V/°C

Temperature (0C)

-10 0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70

VA

PD

(V)

35

40

45

50

55

60

65

M = 12M = 4

M=4

M=12

Active circuit required to vary bias to ensure constant multiplication

Bias required for M = 4 & M = 12 at different temperatures

Temperature dependence of avalanche multiplication

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Reverse bias (V)

0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45

Mea

sure

d cu

rren

t (A

)

10-11

10-10

10-9

10-8

10-7

10-6

10-5

10-4

10-3Increasing

temperature

Dark current

Photocurrent

1µm GaAs p-i-n l Photocurrent, dark current and breakdown measured on different thickness GaAsp-i-n diodes, from 20K-500K

l Sharp Vbd observed at all temperatures.

l Dark currents increase with temperature

l Avalanche multiplication reduces with increasing temperature

Temperature dependent I-V for 1µm GaAs

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Reverse bias (V)0 5 10 15 20

Mea

sure

d cu

rren

t (A

)

10-11

10-10

10-9

10-8

10-7

10-6

10-5

10-4

10-3

Increasingtemperature

Dark currentPhotocurrent

Reverse bias (V)0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Mea

sure

d cu

rren

t (A

)

10-11

10-10

10-9

10-8

10-7

10-6

10-5

10-4

10-3Increasing

temperature

Dark currentPhotocurrent

• Similar behavior seen in thinner avalanche width structures• Thinner devices are less affected by changes in temperature

0.5µm GaAs p-i-n 0.1µm GaAs p-i-n

Temperature dependent I-V for 0.5µm & 0.1µm GaAs

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Temperature (K)0 100 200 300 400 500

Bre

akdo

wn

Vol

tage

(V)

5

10

15

20

25

30

35

40

45

The breakdown change is more significant in thicker structures

w=1µm

w=0.5µm

w=0.1µm

Temperature (K)0 100 200 300 400 500

Vbd

( T) /

Vbd

(300

K)

(%)

70

80

90

100

110

120

Decreasing AvalancheWidth

w = 1.0 µm, 0.5µm & 0.1 µm Percentage change in Vbd

Temperature coefficientdecreases from 0.032V/oC to 0.004V/oC

Change in Vbd with Temperature

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

1/E (x10-6 cm/V)1 2 3 4 5

Ioni

zatio

n C

oeff

icie

nts

(cm

-1)

103

104

105

Increasing Temperature

αβ

500K 300K

100K

GaAs

GaAs ionization coefficients l Ionization coefficients derived from multiplication data

l Ionization coefficients decrease with increasing temperature

l The change is much larger at lower electric fields

l Thinner avalanche widthsoperate at higher electric-fields

l Phonon scattering relatively less important at higher electric fields

Temperature dependent ionization coefficients

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Reverse bias (V)0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18

Mea

sure

d cu

rren

t (A

)

10-12

10-11

10-10

10-9

10-8

10-7

10-6

10-5

10-4

10-3

10-2

Increasing temperature

photocurrent

Idar

k

InP I-V characteristicsl Similar measurements on

w = 0.3µm InP p-i-n from 20K-300K

l Low dark current and l Sharp breakdown

observed

l Vbd decreases as temperature decreases

l Similar results observed in structure with w = 0.5µm.

Temperature dependent I-V in thin InP

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Temperature (K)0 50 100 150 200 250 300

Vbd

(T)/V

bd(3

00K

) (%

)

40

50

60

70

80

90

100

w = 0.30µmw = 0.50µmZappa et al. Fujitsu SAM APD

é Lower temperature coefficient of breakdown voltage, ηo as w decreases.

é Zappa et al (IPRM’96): ηo ~ 0.225V/oC

é Fujitsu SAM-APD: ηo ~ 0.09 - 0.15V/oC

é w = 0.3µm: ηo ~ 0.012V/oC é w = 0.5µm: ηo ~ 0.02V/oC

InP percentage change in Vbd

InP temperature coefficient of Vbd

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Effect of thin avalanching widths

on APD speed

Effect of thin avalanching widths

on APD speed

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Gain-bandwidth Characteristics

Multiplication Gain (M)1 10

Ban

dwid

th (G

Hz)

1

10

Gain -Bandwidth ~120GHz

Carrier trapping

v Bandwidth decreases at low multiplication -carrier trapping

v Bandwidth decreases at high multiplication -multiple transits

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

w1position

time

electroninjected

0

M = 3

w1

time

0

M = 5

v APD is slow c.f. p-i-n diodes due to multiple transits required for high gains

v Difficult to achieve 10 Gb/s operation with thick avalanching structures

APD speed limitations-multiplication build-up time

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

position

time

electroninjected

0 w1

M = 3

w2<w1

electroninjected

time

M = 3

T1

T2 < T1

Decreasing w results in shorter transit times -higher speed

Thin avalanche region multiplication build-up time

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Frequency (GHz)0.1 1 10 100

Nor

mal

ised

Gai

n (d

B)

-10

-5

0M = 1B = 40GHz

M = 5B = 8GHz

M = 10B = 4GHz

u APD frequency response approximates a 1st order system

u Figure of merit - Gain bandwidth product (GBP)

u Motivation of thin avalanche regions < 1µm to increase GBP

Frequency response of APDs for fixed reverse bias

APD limitations - frequency response

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

o

electron multiplication factor, M10 100

norm

aliz

ed b

andw

idth

(2π

f 3dBτ)

0.1

1

¯ Factors affecting APD speed: Carrier transit time, RC time constant, carrier diffusion andmultiplication buildup time (f3dB)

J Conventional (Emmons’) model [Emmons, 1967]

J Negligible dead space ð d = 0

J Constant carrier speed ð v = vsat(saturated drift velocity)

J Constant gain-bandwidth product,GBP

J GBP scales with τ , carrier transit time

α/ β = 1

increasing α/ β

Constant GBP [Emmons]

Multiplication-limited bandwidth

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

time (ps)0 10 20 30 40 50

Impu

lse

curr

ent (

A)

10-9

10-8

10-7

10-6

without dead spacewith dead space

¬ Comparison of d = 0 cf. non-local model with d ≠ 0

¯ v = vsat

¯ Avalanching region width of w = 0.1µm

¯M = 12.5

¯ d ñ, avalanche current impulse response decays more slowly ð lower f3dB [Hayat and Saleh, 1992]

Effect of dead space on speed

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

l fm of APDs with avalanche width of w, α = β and <M> = 20

l Compare d/w = 0, 0.2 and 0.3

w (µm)0.0 0.5 1.0 1.5 2.0

f m (

GH

z)

0

5

10

Emmons' analysisd/w = 0d/w = 0.2d/w = 0.3

v Obtain fm by Fourier transforming the current impulse response

v fm obtained agrees with Emmons’ prediction for d/w = 0

v As d/w increases, fm falls below the predicted values

v d/w is larger in thin APDsð absolute decrease in fm is larger in thin APDs

Effects of dead space

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

time (ps)0 10 20 30 40 50

Impu

lse

curr

ent (

A)

10-9

10-8

10-7

10-6

Monte Carlo modelconstant v = v sat

v Monte Carlo model cf. constant v = vsat modelv Same dead space, d

¯ w = 0.1µm, M = 12.5¯ Enhanced speed in

MC model leads to faster decay of current impulse response ð higher f3dB

¯ Dead space and enhanced speed effects compete!

[Hambleton et al, 2002]

Carrier speed assumptions

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Ü Constant GBP

Ü f3dB (Monte Carlo) > f3dB (Emmons) for all w and all MÜ Enhanced carrier speed dominates dead space

M1 10

f 3dB (G

Hz)

10

100

M1 10

f 3dB

(GH

z)10

100

M1 10

f 3dB

(GH

z)

10w = 1.00µm w = 0.20µm w = 0.05µm

Monte CarloEmmons

Simulation result comparisons

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

w (µm)0.1 1

gain

-ban

dwid

th p

rodu

ct (G

Hz)

100

1000v Monte Carlo á more

rapidly as wâ thanEmmons and (vsat + dead space)

v GBP enhancement áas w â

v Worst case is using (vsat+ dead space)

GBP (Monte Carlo) > GBP (Emmons) > GBP (vsat + dead space)

Monte Carlo modelEmmons’ modelvsat + dead space

GBP comparison

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Ü Emmons’ model predicts GBP200nm = 2 × GBP400nm

Ü But larger d/w in w = 200nm device slows frequency response

Ü Suggests v200nm > v400nm

¤ Lenox et al. (PTL 1999) measured f3dB of InAlAs RCE APDs¤w = 400 nm GBW = 130 GHz¤w = 200 nm GBW = 290 GHz

¤ GBP200nm > 2 × GBP400nm

Published experimental f3dB

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Conclusions

H The excess noise decreases as the avalanche width decreases below 1µm, in disagreement with the theory of McIntyre

H The low noise results from a more deterministic impactionization process at high fields as dead space becomes more important

H The carrier type initiating the multiplication becomes unimportant at high fields

H Thin avalanching regions should be less temperature sensitive

H Thin avalanching regions should be capable of high speedoperation

H 40 Gb/s APDs highly probable

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Graham Rees, Peter Robson, Richard Tozer,

Bob Grey, Mark Hopkinson, Geoff Hill, J.S. Roberts

J.S. Ng, B.K. Ng, C.H. Tan, K.S. Lau, C. Groves, D.J. Massey,

B. Jacob, P.J. Hambleton, C.N. Harrison, M. Yee,

D.S. Ong, C.K. Chia, R. Ghin, K.F. Li, S.A. Plimmer, G.M. Dunn

IEEE LEOS, EPSRC, DERA, EU

Graham Rees, Peter Robson, Richard Graham Rees, Peter Robson, Richard TozerTozer, ,

Bob Grey, Mark Bob Grey, Mark HopkinsonHopkinson, Geoff Hill, J.S. Roberts, Geoff Hill, J.S. Roberts

J.S. Ng, B.K. Ng, C.H. Tan, K.S. Lau, C. Groves, D.J. Massey, J.S. Ng, B.K. Ng, C.H. Tan, K.S. Lau, C. Groves, D.J. Massey,

B. Jacob, P.J. B. Jacob, P.J. HambletonHambleton, C.N. Harrison, M. Yee, , C.N. Harrison, M. Yee,

D.S. D.S. OngOng, C.K. , C.K. ChiaChia, R. , R. GhinGhin, K.F. Li, S.A. , K.F. Li, S.A. PlimmerPlimmer, G.M. Dunn, G.M. Dunn

IEEE LEOS, EPSRC, DERA, EUIEEE LEOS, EPSRC, DERA, EU

Acknowledgements

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

l Applications requiring UV detection

2 Atmospheric UV remote sensing

2 UV astronomy2 Combustion control2 Detection of fire,

corona discharge on HV lines

2 Aircraft & missile detection

ll Applications requiring Applications requiring UV detectionUV detection

2 Atmospheric UV remote sensing

2 UV astronomy2 Combustion control2 Detection of fire,

corona discharge on HV lines

2 Aircraft & missile detection

UV DetectionUVUV--enhanced enhanced Si Si photodiodesphotodiodes

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Why SiC for UV APDs?

l Wide bandgap (3.25eV for 4H-SiC)⇒ excellent for UV detection⇒ very low dark current⇒ high temperature operation

l Large β/α ratio in 4H-SiC⇒ desirable for thick APD structures⇒ performance in thin structures unknown

Why Why SiCSiC for UV for UV APDsAPDs??

ll Wide Wide bandgapbandgap (3.25eV for 4H(3.25eV for 4H--SiCSiC))⇒⇒ excellent for UV detectionexcellent for UV detection⇒⇒ very low dark currentvery low dark current⇒⇒ high temperature operationhigh temperature operation

ll Large Large β/αβ/α ratio in 4Hratio in 4H--SiCSiC⇒⇒ desirable for thick APD structuresdesirable for thick APD structures⇒⇒ performance in thin structures unknownperformance in thin structures unknown

Motivation

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

4H-SiC Device Structures

l 2° +ve bevel edge & multistep junction extension terminationl Square mesas with areas : 50 × 50 ~ 210 × 210 µm2

l Passivated with SiO2 & SiNxl Al/ Ti top contact with optical access

l 2° +ve bevel edge & multistep junction extension terminationl Square mesas with areas : 50 × 50 ~ 210 × 210 µm2

l Passivated with SiO2 & SiNxl Al/ Ti top contact with optical access

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Wavelength (nm)230 250 270 290 310 330 350 370

Res

pons

ivit

y (m

A/W

)

0

20

40

60

80

100

120

140

160

250 300 350 400

100

101

102

70%

60%

50%

40%

30%

20%

10%

Responsivity at Unity Gain, Beveled APDs

l Similar to typical 6H-SiC photodiodes

l Responsivity cutoff at ~380 nm ⇒ visible-blind

l Peak responsivity of 144 mA/W at 265 nm ⇒quantum efficiency of ~ 67%

l Similar to typical 6H-SiC photodiodes

l Responsivity cutoff at ~380 nm ⇒⇒ visible-blind

l Peak responsivity of 144 mA/W at 265 nm ⇒⇒quantum efficiency of ~ 67%

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Reverse IV Characteristics

l Avalanche breakdown is sharp & well-defined at Vbd = 58.5V & 124.0Vl Carriers injected with 230 ~ 365 nm light to initiate multiplicationl Iph is 1 ~ 3 orders of magnitude > Idark

l AC measurements corroborate DC results

l Avalanche breakdown is sharp & well-defined at Vbd = 58.5V & 124.0Vl Carriers injected with 230 ~ 365 nm light to initiate multiplicationl Iph is 1 ~ 3 orders of magnitude > Idark

l AC measurements corroborate DC results

Reverse bias voltage (V)0 20 40 60 80 100 120

Cur

rent

(A)

10-11

10-10

10-9

10-8

10-7

10-6

10-5

10-4

Reverse bias voltage (V)0 10 20 30 40 50 60

Cur

rent

(A)

10-12

10-11

10-10

10-9

10-8

10-7

10-6

10-5

10-4

DarkDark

297 nm297 nm365 nm365 nm

230 nm230 nm

DarkDark

297 nm297 nm365 nm365 nm

230 nm230 nm

Beveled APDs, 160×160µm2 Reach-Through APDs, 150×150mm2

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Multiplication Characteristics

l M of > 200 measuredl M at various λ more disparate for thicker APD structurel Smaller M from shorter λ

⇒ Mh > Me ⇒ β > α

l M of > 200 measuredl M at various λ more disparate for thicker APD structurel Smaller M from shorter λ

⇒⇒ MMhh > > MMee ⇒⇒ ββ > > αα

Reverse bias voltage (V)50 60 70 80 90 100 110 120

Mul

tipl

icat

ion

fact

or, M

2468

101214161820

365nm297nm265nm250nm240nm230nm

Reverse bias voltage (V)25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60

Mul

tipl

icat

ion

fact

or, M

2468

101214161820

365nm297nm265nm250nm240nm230nm

Beveled APDs Reach-Through APDs

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Multiplication factor, M5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45

Exc

ess

nois

e fa

ctor

, F

10

20

30

40

50

60

k = 0.15

k = 2.8

Multiplication factor, M10 20 30 40 50

Exc

ess

nois

e fa

ctor

, F

5

10

15

20

25

30

k = 0.8

k = 0.1

¢¢ 230 nm230 nm�� 365 nm365 nm

¢¢ 230 nm230 nm�� 365 nm365 nm

Excess Avalanche Noise Characteristics

l Excess noise measured for M > 40⇒ good quality of APDs, very stable avalanche multiplication

l Very low excess noise of k = 0.1 & 0.15 measured with 365 nm lightl Excess noise from electron injection (230 nm) gave k = 0.8 & 2.8

l Excess noise measured for M > 40⇒⇒ good quality of APDs, very stable avalanche multiplicationgood quality of APDs, very stable avalanche multiplication

l Very low excess noise of k = 0.1 & 0.15 measured with 365 nm lightl Excess noise from electron injection (230 nm) gave k = 0.8 & 2.8

Beveled APDs Reach-Through APDs

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Comparison with Si & Al0.8Ga0.2As

Reverse bias voltage (V)20 25 30 35 40 45 50 55 60

Mul

tipl

icat

ion

fact

or, M

4

8

12

16

20

4H-SiC

Reverse bias voltage (V)0 2 4 6 8 10 12 14

Mul

tipl

icat

ion

fact

or, M

4

8

12

16

20

Al0.8Ga0.2AsSil Vbd of 4H-SiC is 10× & 5× of Si &

Al0.8Ga0.2As respectivelyl Me & Mh closer for Si, Al0.8Ga0.2As

l 4H-SiC ⇒ lowest excess noise in a w = 0.1 µm structure

l Vbd of 4H-SiC is 10× & 5× of Si & Al0.8Ga0.2As respectively

l Me & Mh closer for Si, Al0.8Ga0.2As

l 4H-SiC ⇒⇒ lowest excess noise in a w = 0.1 µm structure

Multiplication factor, M10 20 30 40 50 60 70

Exc

ess

nois

e fa

ctor

, F

2

4

6

8

10

12

k=0.1

k=0

k=0.2k=0.3k=0.4

Si and Si and AlAl0.80.8GaGa0.20.2AsAs

365 nm365 nm

230 nm230 nm

MMeeMMhh

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

+ 4H-SiC APD’s exhibit good visible-blind performance

+ Photomultiplication characteristics⇒ Large M in excess of 200 measured⇒ show unambiguously that β > α⇒ β/α ratio remains large in short devices

+ Very low excess noise of k = 0.1 achieved with mainly holes-initiated multiplication

+ 4H-SiC is a suitable material for high-gain, low noise UV avalanche photodiodes

+ 4H-SiC APD’s exhibit good visible-blind performance

+ Photomultiplication characteristics⇒⇒ Large M in excess of 200 measured⇒⇒ show unambiguously that β > α⇒⇒ β/α ratio remains large in short devices

+ Very low excess noise of k = 0.1 achieved with mainly holes-initiated multiplication

+ 4H-SiC is a suitable material for high-gain, low noise UV avalanche photodiodes

Conclusions

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

l AlxGa1-xAs material system is widely used in HBTs and IMPATTs

l Use in telecom wavelength APDs limited by lack of lattice-matched material that absorbs at long wavelength

l GaInAsN has recently been demonstrated 11 absorbs long wavelength11 lattice-matched to AlxGa1-xAs

l GaAs-based APDs is possible and may require AlxGa1-xAs multiplication region for optimum performance

MotivationMotivation

Al0.8Ga0.2As : A Very Low Excess Noise Multiplication Medium for GaAs-based APDs

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Device structuresDevice structuresl Homojunction p-i-n/n-i-p

grown by conventional MBE with w = 1 µm

l 1 heterojunction p-i-n with w=0.8 µm to obtain Me & Mhfrom same diode

l Optical access window fabricated by wet etching

l Pure carrier injection obtained with 442nm & 633nm light

l 542nm light used to produce mixed carrier injection

l Homojunction p-i-n/n-i-p grown by conventional MBE with w = 1 µm

l 1 heterojunction p-i-n with w=0.8 µm to obtain Me & Mhfrom same diode

l Optical access window fabricated by wet etching

l Pure carrier injection obtained with 442nm & 633nm light

l 542nm light used to produce mixed carrier injection

Al0.8Ga0.2As : A Very Low Excess Noise Multiplication Medium for GaAs-based APDs

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Avalanche excess noise of homojunction pAvalanche excess noise of homojunction p--ii--n diodesn diodes

• k~ 0.19 for electron multiplication• Larger F for mixed carrier injection

• Lower M for mixed carrier injection ⇒ α > β

Al0.8Ga0.2As : A Very Low Excess Noise Multiplication Medium for GaAs-based APDs

Reverse bias voltage (V)0 10 20 30 40 50

Mu

ltip

licat

ion

fact

or,

M

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

Multiplication factor, M2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

Exc

ess

no

ise

fact

or,

F1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

k=0

k=1MMee

MMmixedmixed

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Avalanche excess noise of thin diodesAvalanche excess noise of thin diodes

• Comparable excess noise for bulk and thin diodes

• Vbd ↓ with decreasing w

Al0.8Ga0.2As : A Very Low Excess Noise Multiplication Medium for GaAs-based APDs

Reverse bias voltage (V)2 3 4 5 6 78 10 20 30 40 60

Mu

ltip

licat

ion

fact

or,

M

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

11

12

1µm0.1µm

Multiplication factor, M2 4 6 8 10 12 14 16 18 20

Exc

ess

no

ise

fact

or,

F

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

10

k=0

k=1

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Comparison with InPComparison with InP--based APDsbased APDs

Al0.8Ga0.2As : A Very Low Excess Noise Multiplication Medium for GaAs-based APDs

Multiplication factor, M1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12

Exc

ess

nois

e fa

ctor

, F

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

Al0.8Ga0.2As

CommericalInP-based APDFujitsu VN206

ki=0

ki=1

l Commercial InP-based APD give excess noise ofki=~0.7 with hole initiated multiplication

l Much lower excess noise can be obtained with Al0.8Ga0.2As as avalanche medium

l Commercial InP-based APD give excess noise ofki=~0.7 with hole initiated multiplication

l Much lower excess noise can be obtained with Al0.8Ga0.2As as avalanche medium

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Comparison with lower aluminium AlComparison with lower aluminium AlxxGaGa11--xxAsAs

l AlxGa1-xAs (x ≤ 0.6) has large avalanche excess noise

l Excess noise of Al0.8Ga0.2As is much lower

l Al0.8Ga0.2As also has lower excess noise than a commercial InP-based APD

l At M=10, excess noise of Al0.8Ga0.2As is at least 2 times lower

l AlxGa1-xAs (x ≤ 0.6) has large avalanche excess noise

l Excess noise of Al0.8Ga0.2As is much lower

l Al0.8Ga0.2As also has lower excess noise than a commercial InP-based APD

l At M=10, excess noise of Al0.8Ga0.2As is at least 2 times lower

Al0.8Ga0.2As : A Very Low Excess Noise Multiplication Medium for GaAs-based APDs

Aluminium composition, x0.0 0.1 0.2 0.3 0.4 0.5 0.6 0.7 0.8 0.9 1.0

k i

0.15

0.20

0.30

0.40

0.50

0.60

0.700.80

1.00

CommercialInP-based APDs

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

Ionization coefficientsIonization coefficients

Al0.8Ga0.2As : A Very Low Excess Noise Multiplication Medium for GaAs-based APDs

Inverse electric field (cm/V)1x10-6 2x10-6 3x10-6 4x10-6 5x10-6

Impa

ct io

niza

tion

coe

ffic

ient

s (c

m-1

)

101

102

103

104

105

Al0.8Ga0.2As

AlxGa1-xAs (x=0, 0.15, 0.3, 0.6)l Large α/β ratio as

compared to AlxGa1-xAsof lower x⇒ Lower excess noise

l β/α ratio of InP is small ⇒ Higher excess noise

l Large α/β ratio as compared to AlxGa1-xAsof lower x⇒ Lower excess noiseLower excess noise

l β/α ratio of InP is small ⇒ Higher excess noiseHigher excess noise

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

ConclusionsConclusions

+Bulk Al0.8Ga0.2As diodes give lower excess noise than AlxGa1-xAs (x ≤ 0.6) or InP

+Consequence of the larger α/β ratio in Al0.8Ga0.2As

+Low noise APDs may be achievable on GaAssubstrates using Al0.8Ga0.2As as the gain medium

+Bulk Al0.8Ga0.2As diodes give lower excess noise than AlxGa1-xAs (x ≤ 0.6) or InP

+Consequence of the larger α/β ratio in Al0.8Ga0.2As

+Low noise APDs may be achievable on GaAssubstrates using Al0.8Ga0.2As as the gain medium

Al0.8Ga0.2As : A Very Low Excess Noise Multiplication Medium for GaAs-based APDs

Low Noise Avalanche Photodiodes

APD noise measurement system

Excess noise+ 10 MHz center frequency+ ENBW of 4 MHz+ AC technique with

modulated light source+ F from M & noise power+ Shot noise of Si p-i-n as

reference

Excess noiseExcess noise+ 10 MHz center frequency+ ENBW of 4 MHz+ AC technique with

modulated light source+ F from M & noise power+ Shot noise of Si p-i-n as

reference

Recommended