III-Nitride avalanche photodiodes

Ryan McClintock, Jose L. Pau, Can Bayram, Brano Fain, Paul Giedraitis, Manijeh Razeghi*, Melville P. Ulmer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Research into avalanche photodiodes (APDs) is motivated by the need for high sensitivity ultraviolet (UV) detectors in numerous civilian and military applications. By designing photodetectors to utilize low-noise impact ionization based gain, GaN APDs operating in Geiger mode can deliver gains exceeding 1 × 107' Thus with careful design, it becomes possible to count photons at the single photon level. In this paper we review the current state of the art in Ill-Nitride visible-blind APDs, and present our latest results regarding linear and Geiger mode Ill-Nitride based APDs. This includes novel device designs such as separate absorption and multiplication APDs (SAM-APDs). We also discuss control of the material quality and the critical issue of p-type doping - demonstrating a novel delta-doping technique for improved material quality and enhanced electric field confinement. The spectral response and Geiger-mode photon counting performance of these devices are then analyzed under low photon fluxes, with single photon detection capabilities being demonstrated. Other major technical issues associated with the realization of high-quality visible-blind Geiger mode APDs are also discussed in detail and future prospects for improving upon the performance of these devices are outlined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number72220U
JournalProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
StatePublished - 2009
EventQuantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices VI - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 25 2009Jan 28 2009


  • Avalanche photodiodes
  • GaN
  • Photodetector
  • Photon counting
  • Ultraviolet

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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