Geiger-mode operation of ultraviolet avalanche photodiodes grown on sapphire and free-standing GaN substrates

Cicek, E.; Vashaei, Z.; McClintock, R.; Bayram, C.; Razeghi, M.
June 2010
Applied Physics Letters;6/28/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 26, p261107
Academic Journal
GaN avalanche photodiodes (APDs) were grown on both conventional sapphire and low dislocation density free-standing (FS) c-plane GaN substrates. Leakage current, gain, and single photon detection efficiency (SPDE) of these APDs were compared. At a reverse-bias of 70 V, APDs grown on sapphire substrates exhibited a dark current density of 2.7×10-4 A/cm2 whereas APDs grown on FS-GaN substrates had a significantly lower dark current density of 2.1×10-6 A/cm2. Under linear-mode operation, APDs grown on FS-GaN achieved avalanche gain as high as 14 000. Geiger-mode operation conditions were studied for enhanced SPDE. Under front-illumination the 625-μm2-area APD yielded a SPDE of ∼13% when grown on sapphire substrates compared to more than 24% when grown on FS-GaN. The SPDE of the same APD on sapphire substrate increased to ∼30% under back-illumination—the FS-GaN APDs were only tested under front illumination due to the thick absorbing GaN substrate.


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