MWIR and LWIR HgCdTe Infrared Detectors Operated with Reduced Cooling Requirements
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- Velicu, S., Grein, C., Emelie, P. et al. Journal of Elec Materi (2010) 39: 873. doi:10.1007/s11664-010-1218-0
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In this work, we analyze Auger suppression in HgCdTe alloy-based device structures and determine the operation temperature improvements expected when Auger suppression occurs. We identified critical material (absorber dopant concentration and minority-carrier lifetime) requirements that must be satisfied for optimal performance characteristics. Calculated detectivity values of Auger-suppressed and standard double-layer planar heterostructure (DLPH) devices demonstrate consistently higher maximum background-limited temperatures over a range of cutoff wavelengths and generally higher detectivity values achieved by Auger-suppressed detectors. Furthermore, these devices can operate with comparable performance at up to 100 K higher than DLPH detectors operating at reference temperatures above 100 K. Results of these simulations demonstrate that Auger-suppressed detectors provide a significant advantage over DLPH devices for high-temperature operation and are a viable candidate for thermoelectrically cooled detectors. Experimental dark current–voltage (I–V) characteristics between 120 K and 300 K were fitted using numerical simulations. By fitting the temperature-dependent I–V experimental data, we determined that the observed negative differential resistance (NDR) is due to Auger suppression. More specifically, NDR is attributed to full suppression of Auger-1 processes and partial (~70%) suppression of Auger-7 processes. After Auger suppression, the remaining leakage current is principally limited by the Shockley–Read–Hall recombination component. Part of the leakage current is also due to a residual Auger-7 current in the absorber due to the extrinsic p-type doping level. Analysis and comparison of our theoretical and experimental device results in structures where Auger suppression was realized are also presented.