A novel SWIR detector with an ultra-high internal gain and negligible excess noise

H. Mohseni, O. G. Memis, S. C. Kong, A. Katsnelson, W. Wu, David A. Huckridge, Reinhard R. Ebert
2007 Electro-Optical and Infrared Systems: Technology and Applications IV  
Short wave infrared (SWIR) imaging systems have several advantages due to the spectral content of the nightglow and better discrimination against camouflage. Achieving single photon detection sensitivity can significantly improve the image quality of these systems. However, the internal noise of the detector and readout circuits are significant barriers to achieve this goal. One can prove that the noise limitations of the readout can be alleviated, if the detector exhibits sufficiently high
more » ... fficiently high internal gain. Unfortunately, the existing detectors with internal gain have a very high noise as well. Here we present the recent results from our novel FOcalized Carrier aUgmented Sensor (FOCUS). It utilizes very high charge compression into a nano-injector, and subsequent carrier injection to achieve high quantum efficiency and high sensitivity at short infrared at room temperature. We obtain internal gain values exceeding several thousand at bias values of less than 1 volt. The current responsivity at 1.55 µm is more than 1500 A/W, and the noise equivalent power (NEP) is less that 0.5 x10 -15 W/Hz ½ at room temperature. These are significantly better than the performance of the existing room temperature devices with internal gain. Also, unlike avalanche-based photodiodes, the measured excess noise factor for our device is near unity, even at very high gain values. The stable gain of the device combined with the low operating voltage are unique advantages of this technology for high-performance SWIR imaging arrays. a hmohseni@eecs.northwestern.edu
doi:10.1117/12.738208 fatcat:e46c4asjcfhstpuh6tor7nwnuy