, Volume 28, Issue 6, pp 630-636

Performance limitation of short wavelength infrared InGaAs and HgCdTe photodiodes

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Abstract

The carrier lifetimes in InxGa1−xAs (InGaAs) and Hg1−xCdxTe (HgCdTe) ternary alloys for radiative and Auger recombination are calculated for temperature 300K in the short wavelength range 1.5<λ<3.7 µm. Due to photon recycling, an order of magnitude enhancements in the radiative lifetimes over those obtained from the standard van Roosbroeck and Shockley expression, has been assumed. The possible Auger recombination mechanisms (CHCC, CHLH, and CHSH processes) in direct-gap semiconductors are investigated. In both n-type ternary alloys, the carrier lifetimes are similar, and competition between radiative and CHCC processes take place. In p-type materials, the carrier lifetimes are also comparable, however the most effective channels of Auger mechanism are: CHSH process in InGaAs, and CHLH process in HgCdTe. Next, the performance of heterostructure p-on-n photovoltaic devices are considered. Theoretically predicted RoA values are compared with experimental data reported by other authors. In0.53Ga0.47As photodiodes have shown the device performance within a factor often of theoretical limit. However, the performance of InGaAs photodiodes decreases rapidly at intermediate wavelengths due to mismatch-induced defects. HgCdTe photodiodes maintain high performance close to the ultimate limit over a wider range of wavelengths. In this context technology of HgCdTe is considerably advanced since the same lattice parameter of this alloy is the same over wide composition range.