Photon emission from avalanche breakdown in the collector junction of GaAs/AlGaAs heterojunction bipolar transistors

Chen, J.; Gao, G. B.; Huang, D.; Chyi, J. I.; Ünlü, M. S.; Morkoç, H.
July 1989
Applied Physics Letters;7/24/1989, Vol. 55 Issue 4, p374
Academic Journal
The base-collector junction of GaAs/AlGaAs single heterojunction bipolar transistors has been observed to emit light at avalanche breakdown. The spectral distribution curve exhibits broad peaks at 2.03 and 1.43 eV, with the intensities dependent upon the reverse current. These observations suggest that electrons, excited to the upper conduction band by the field, lose their energy by impact ionizing electron-hole pairs and producing the 2.03 eV light, which corresponds to the threshold energy for electron impact ionization. The band-edge emission is the result of direct-gap free-carrier recombination and self-absorption of the high-energy transition.


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