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Title: Breakdown characteristics of deep-ultraviolet Al 0.6 Ga 0.4 N p-i-n avalanche photodiodes

A top-illuminated deep-ultraviolet Al0.6Ga0.4N p-i-n avalanche photodiode (APD) structure was designed and grown by metalorganic chemical vapor deposition on an AlN bulk substrate and on two different quality AlN/sapphire templates, and APDs were fabricated and tested. The APD devices with a circular diameter of 20  μm have demonstrated a distinctive reverse-bias breakdown behavior. The reverse breakdown voltage of the APDs is approximately −140 V, which corresponds to a breakdown electric field of 6–6.2 MV/cm for the Al0.6Ga0.4N material as estimated by Silvaco TCAD simulation. The APDs grown on the AlN bulk substrate show the lowest leakage current density of <1 × 10−8 A/cm2(at low reverse bias) compared to that of the devices grown on the AlN templates. From the photocurrent measurement, a maximum gain (current limited) of 1.2 × 104is calculated. The average temperature coefficients of the breakdown voltage are negative for APD devices fabricated from both the AlN bulk substrate and the AlN templates, but these data show that the coefficient is the least negative for the APD devices grown on the low-dislocation-density AlN bulk substrate.

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Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Journal of Applied Physics
Page Range or eLocation-ID:
Article No. 103102
American Institute of Physics
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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Fig. 3(b) shows the tunneling probability T according to the Kane two-band model in the three materials, In0.53Ga0.47As, GaAs, and GaN, following our observation of a similar electroluminescence mechanism in GaN/AlN RTDs (due to strong polarization field of wurtzite structures) [8]. The expression is Tinter = (2/9)∙exp[(-2 ∙Ug 2 ∙me)/(2h∙P∙E)], where Ug is the bandgap energy, P is the valence-to-conduction-band momentum matrix element, and E is the electric field. Values for the highest calculated internal E fields for the InGaAs and GaN are also shown, indicating that Tinter in those structures approaches values of ~10-5. As shown, a GaAs RTD would require an internal field of ~6×105 V/cm, which is rarely realized in standard GaAs RTDs, perhaps explaining why there have been few if any reports of room-temperature electroluminescence in the GaAs devices. [1] E.R. Brown,et al., Appl. Phys. Lett., vol. 58, 2291, 1991. [5] S. Sze, Physics of Semiconductor Devices, 2nd Ed. 12.2.1 (Wiley, 1981). [2] M. Feiginov et al., Appl. Phys. Lett., 99, 233506, 2011. [6] L. Coldren, Diode Lasers and Photonic Integrated Circuits, (Wiley, 1995). [3] Y. Nishida et al., Nature Sci. Reports, 9, 18125, 2019. [7] E.O. Kane, J. of Appl. Phy 32, 83 (1961). [4] P. Fakhimi, et al., 2019 DRC Conference Digest. [8] T. Growden, et al., Nature Light: Science & Applications 7, 17150 (2018). [5] S. Sze, Physics of Semiconductor Devices, 2nd Ed. 12.2.1 (Wiley, 1981). [6] L. Coldren, Diode Lasers and Photonic Integrated Circuits, (Wiley, 1995). [7] E.O. Kane, J. of Appl. Phy 32, 83 (1961). [8] T. Growden, et al., Nature Light: Science & Applications 7, 17150 (2018).« less