Carrier Dynamics and Absorption Properties of Gold-Hyperdoped Germanium: Insight into Tailoring Defect Energetics

Sashini Senali Dissanayake, Naheed Ferdous, Hemi H. Gandhi, David Pastor, Tuan T. Tran, Jim S. Williams, Michael J. Aziz, Eric Mazur, Elif Ertekin, Meng Ju Sher

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hyperdoping germanium with gold is a potential method to produce room-temperature short-wavelength-infrared radiation (SWIR; 1.4-3.0μm) photodetection. We investigate the charge carrier dynamics, light absorption, and structural properties of gold-hyperdoped germanium (Ge:Au) fabricated with varying ion implantation and nanosecond pulsed laser melting conditions. Time-resolved terahertz spectroscopy (TRTS) measurements show that Ge:Au carrier lifetime is significantly higher than that in previously studied hyperdoped silicon systems. Furthermore, we find that lattice composition, sub-band-gap optical absorption, and carrier dynamics depend greatly on hyperdoping conditions. We use density functional theory (DFT) to model dopant distribution, electronic band structure, and optical absorption. These simulations help explain experimentally observed differences in optical and optoelectronic behavior across different samples. DFT modeling reveals that substitutional dopant incorporation has the lowest formation energy and leads to deep energy levels. In contrast, interstitial or dopant-vacancy complex incorporation yields shallower energy levels that do not contribute to sub-band-gap light absorption and have a small effect on charge carrier lifetimes. These results suggest that it is promising to tailor dopant incorporation sites of Ge:Au for SWIR photodetection applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number064058
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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