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High responsivity InP-InGaAs quantum-well infrared photodetectors: Characteristics and focal plane array performance

2005-07-01
Cellek, OO
Ozer, S
Beşikci, Cengiz
We report the detailed characteristics of long-wavelength infrared InP-In0.53Ga0.47As quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) and 640 x 512 focal plane array (FPA) grown by molecular beam epitaxy. For reliable assessment of the detector performance, characterization was performed on test detectors of the same size and structure with the FPA pixels. Al0.27Ga0.73As-GaAs QWIPs with similar spectral response (lambda(p) = similar to 7.8 mu m) were also fabricated and characterized for comparison. InP-InGaAs QWIPs (20-period) yielded quantum efficiency-gain product as high as 0.46 under -3-V bias with a 77-K peak detectivity above 1 x 10(10) cm center dot Hz(1/2)/W. At 70 K, the detector performance is background limited with f/2 aperture up to similar to 3-V bias where the peak responsivity (2.9 A/W) is an order of magnitude higher than that of the AlGaAs-GaAs QWIP. The results show that impact ionization in similar InP-InGaAs QWIPs does not start until the average electric-field reaches similar to 25 kV/cm, and the detectivity remains high under moderately large bias, which yields high responsivity due to large photoconductive gain. The InP-InGaAs QWIP FPA offers reasonably low noise equivalent temperature difference (NETD) even with very short integration times (tau).70 K NETD values of the FPA with f/1.5 optics are 36 and 64 mK under bias voltages of -0.5 V (tau = 11 ms) and -2 V (tau = 650 mu s), respectively. The results clearly show the potential of InP-InGaAs QWIPs for thermal imaging applications requiring high responsivity and short integration times.