Document Type




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Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)

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IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics

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It has been recently found that the initial-energy effect, which is associated with the finite initial energy of carriers entering the multiplication region of an avalanche photodiode (APD), can be tailored to reduce the excess noise well beyond the previously known limits for thin APDs. However, the control of the initial energy of injected carriers can be difficult in practice for an APD with a single multiplication layer. In this paper, the dead-space multiplication recurrence theory is used to show that the low noise characteristics associated with the initial-energy effect can be achieved by utilizing a two-layer multiplication region. As an example, a high bandgap Al 0.6 Ga 0.4 As material, termed the energy-buildup layer, is used to elevate the energy of injected carriers without incurring significant multiplication events, while a second GaAs layer with a lower bandgap energy is used as the primary carrier multiplication layer. Computations show that devices can be optimally designed through judicious choice of the charge-layer width to produce excess noise factor levels that are comparable to those corresponding to homojunction APDs benefiting from a maximal initial-energy effect. A structure is presented to achieve precisely that.


Accepted version. IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 39, No. 10 (2003): 1287-1296. DOI. © 2003 Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Used with permission.

Majeed M. Hayat was affiliated with University of New Mexico at the time of publication.

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