Transient photocurrent overshoot in quantum-well infrared photodetectors

Letov, V.; Ershov, M.; Matsik, S. G.; Perera, A. G. U.; Liu, H. C.; Wasilewski, Z. R.; Buchanan, M.
September 2001
Applied Physics Letters;9/24/2001, Vol. 79 Issue 13
Academic Journal
We report a strongly nonexponential behavior of the transient photocurrent in quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) in response to a step-like infrared illumination. The transient photocurrent displays an overshoot on the time scale 0.1–1 ms at low temperatures (T<70 K), exceeding the steady-state photocurrent by as much as approx. 50%. The overshoot behavior is attributed to a nonlinearity of responsivity caused by the modulation of the electric field in QWIP under relatively high illumination power, when the photocurrent exceeds the dark current. This explanation is confirmed by the experimental data and numerical simulation. These effects can play an important role when QWIPs operate in nonlinear regimes, such as in a heterodyne mode or in low-temperature and low-background applications. © 2001 American Institute of Physics.


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