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Defects and noise in type-II superlattice infrared detectors

: Walther, M.; Wörl, A.; Daumer, V.; Rehm, R.; Kirste, L.; Rutz, F.; Schmitz, J.


Andresen, B.F. ; Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers -SPIE-, Bellingham/Wash.:
Infrared technology and applications XXXIX. Vol.1 : 29 April - 3 May 2013, Baltimore, Maryland, United States
Bellingham, WA: SPIE, 2013 (Proceedings of SPIE 8704)
ISBN: 978-0-8194-9495-5
Paper 87040U
Conference on Infrared Technology and Applications <39, 2013, Baltimore/Md.>
Fraunhofer IAF ()
InAs/GaSb type-II superlattice photodiode; infrared detector; GaSb; crystallographic defects; threading dislocation; shot noise; excess noise; avalanche multiplication; electric field domain

To examine defects in InAs/GaSb type-II superlattices we investigated GaSb substrates and epitaxial InAs/GaSb layers by synchrotron white beam X-ray topography to characterize the distribution of threading dislocations. Those measurements are compared with wet chemical etch pit density measurements on GaSb substrates and InAs/GaSb type-II superlattices epitaxial layer structures. The technique uses a wet chemical etch process to decorate threading dislocations and an automated optical analyzing system for mapping the defect distribution.
Dark current and noise measurements on processed InAs/GaSb type-II superlattice single element photo diodes reveal a generation-recombination limited dark current behavior without contributions by surface leakage currents for midwavelength infrared detectors. In the white noise part of the noise spectrum, the extracted diode noise closely matches the theoretically expected shot noise behavior. For diodes with an increased dark current in comparison to the dark current of generation-recombination limited material, the standard shot-noise model fails to describe the noise experimentally observed in the white part of the spectrum. Instead, we find that McIntyre's noise model for avalanche multiplication processes fits the data quite well. We suggest that within high electric field domains localized around crystallographic defects, electrons initiate avalanche multiplication processes leading to increased dark current and excess noise.