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Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)

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IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics

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A rigorous model is developed for determining single-photon quantum efficiency (SPQE) of single-photon avalanche photodiodes (SPADs) with simple or heterojunction multiplication regions. The analysis assumes nanosecond gated-mode operation of the SPADs and that band-to-band tunneling of carriers is the dominant source of dark current in the multiplication region. The model is then utilized to optimize the SPQE as a function of the applied voltage, for a given operating temperature and multiplication-region structure and material. The model can be applied to SPADs with In/sub 0.52/Al/sub 0.48/As or InP multiplication regions as well as In/sub 0.52/Al/sub 0.48/As--InP heterojunction multiplication regions for wavelengths of 1.3 and 1.55 /spl mu/m. The predictions show that the SPQE generally decreases with decreasing the multiplication-region thickness. Moreover, an InP multiplication region requires a lower breakdown electric field (and, hence, offers a higher SPQE) than that required by an In/sub 0.52/Al/sub 0.48/As layer of the same width. The model also shows that the fractional width of the In/sub 0.52/Al/sub 0.48/As layer in an In/sub 0.52/Al/sub 0.48/As--InP heterojunction multiplication region can be optimized to attain a maximum SPQE that is greater than that offered by an InP multiplication region. This effect becomes more pronounced in thin multiplication regions as a result of the increased significance of dead space.


Accepted version. IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics, Vol. 42, No. 2 (February 2006): 137-145. DOI. © 2006 Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). Used with permission.

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

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