The LWIR and longer wavelength regions are of particular interest for new developments and new approaches to realizing long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) photodetectors with high detectivity and high responsivity. These photodetectors are highly desirable for applications such as infrared earth science and astronomy, remote sensing, optical communication, and thermal and medical imaging. Here, we report the design, growth, and characterization of a high-gain band-structure-engineered LWIR heterojunction phototransistor based on type-II superlattices. The 1/e cut-off wavelength of the device is 8.0 µm. At 77 K, unity optical gain occurs at a 90 mV applied bias with a dark current density of 3.2 × 10−7 A/cm2. The optical gain of the device at 77 K saturates at a value of 276 at an applied bias of 220 mV. This saturation corresponds to a responsivity of 1284 A/W and a specific detectivity of 2.34 × 1013 cm Hz1/2/W at a peak detection wavelength of ~6.8 µm. The type-II superlattice-based high-gain LWIR device shows the possibility of designing the high-performance gain-based LWIR photodetectors by implementing the band structure engineering approach.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics