Near-unity below-band-gap absorption by microstructured silicon

Wu, C.; Crouch, C. H.; Zhao, L.; Carey, J. E.; Younkin, R.; Levinson, J. A.; Mazur, E.; Farrell, R. M.; Gothoskar, P.; Karger, A.
March 2001
Applied Physics Letters;3/26/2001, Vol. 78 Issue 13, p1850
Academic Journal
We increased the absorptance of light by silicon to approximately 90% from the near ultraviolet (0.25 μm) to the near infrared (2.5 μm) by surface microstructuring using laser-chemical etching. The remarkable absorptance most likely comes from a high density of impurities and structural defects in the silicon lattice, enhanced by surface texturing. Microstructured avalanche photodiodes show significant enhancement of below-band-gap photocurrent generation at 1.06 and 1.31 μm, indicating promise for use in infrared photodetectors. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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