Thin-Absorber AlInAsSb APDs for low-noise and low-voltage e-SWIR photodetection

Physical Sciences Inc. (PSI), in collaboration with a University of Texas, Austin, has been awarded a research program from the U.S. Army to develop thin-absorber avalanche photodiodes based on digital alloys of AlInAsSb for high-performance photodetection.

The AlInAsSb quaternary alloy system allows for compositional grading throughout the device structure, enabling novel photodiode architectures inaccessible with other III-V alloy systems. PSI’s team will grow, fabricate, and characterize both single pixels and pixel arrays of AlInAsSb avalanche photodiodes based on a thin-absorber architecture for dark current suppression. The thin-absorber architecture, combined with additional innovations in the avalanche multiplication region, will simultaneously enable low-voltage, high-gain, low-noise, and low dark current operation. This will enable integration with Si CMOS readout circuitry for low power-consumption digital infrared focal plane arrays.

Successful commercialization of thin-absorber AlInAsSb avalanche photodiodes photodetection in the extended short-wave infrared band will meet growing defense-oriented demand for low-noise digital night vision, targeting and tracking imaging systems, and satellite imagers, as well as non-defense needs such as biological imaging systems and automotive LIDAR. Since no current commercial products are available to meet simultaneous requirements for performance, cost, and operating temperature, development of thin-absorber AlInAsSb avalanche photodiode arrays will be disruptive by enabling new sensing and imaging capabilities.

For more information, contact:

Dr. Joel Hensley
Vice President, Photonics
Physical Sciences Inc.
Telephone: (978) 689-0003