Alternate configurations for blocked impurity band detectors
Garcia, Jonathan C.
Haegel, Nancy M.
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Silicon Blocked Impurity Band (BIB) detectors are highly efficient, radiation-hardened photodetectors that operate in the range of 5-40 Ã¦m. To further extend BIB coverage to 40-350 Ã¦m, Ge and GaAs BIB detectors are under development; however, these new detectors face fabrication issues that have delayed their introduction. This thesis will describe the use of a numerical model to examine alternate operating modes for GaAs BIB detectors in order to bypass current fabrication issues. The numerical simulations provide an understanding of the fundamental physics that governs detector transport. The proposed alternatives to standard operation are created by reversing the detector's bias and varying the blocking layer thickness. Modeling indicates that reversing the bias on these detectors provides a larger signal current than standard configurations, while preserving the principal benefits gained from a multilayered device. At the same time, the alternate bias configuration allows for the use of thicker blocking layers, while preserving overall detector responsivity and reducing shot noise. This proposed new model of operation should allow for the relaxation of fabrication constraints without sacrificing the inherent benefits associated with BIB detectors. These devices are of potential interest for missile defense and terahertz surveillance applications.
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