Solar-blind avalanche photodiodes

Ryan McClintock, Kathryn Minder, Alireza Yasan, Can Bayram, Frank Fuchs, Patrick Kung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


There is a need for semiconductor based UV photodetectors to support avalanche gain in order to realize better performance and more effectively compete with existing photomultiplier tubes. However, there are numerous technical issues associated with the realization of high-quality solar-blind avalanche photodiodes (APDs). In this paper, APDs operating at 280 nm, within the solar-blind region of the ultraviolet spectrum, are investigated. The devices consist of an Al0.38Ga0.62N active region grown atop a high quality AlN template layer designed to allow back illumination of the devices through the sapphire substrate. These devices perform well in the unbiased mode of operation. Under the application of large reverse bias these devices show a soft breakdown starting at relatively low electric fields. The devices achieve a maximum optical gain of ~1000 at a reverse bias of ~90 Volts, which corresponds to an electric field strength of 2.5 MV/cm. The origins of this gain are discussed in detail and modeling of the devices is used to investigate the electric field build up in the multiplication region.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationQuantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices III
StatePublished - May 26 2006
Externally publishedYes
EventQuantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices III - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 23 2006Jan 26 2006

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherQuantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices III
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • APD
  • AlGaN
  • Avalanche
  • Detector
  • Solar-Blind

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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