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Single Photon Counting UV Solar-Blind Detectors Using Silicon and III-Nitride Materials

Nikzad, Shouleh and Hoenk, Michael and Jewell, April D. and Hennessy, John J. and Carver, Alexander G. and Jones, Todd J. and Goodsall, Timothy M. and Hamden, Erika T. and Suvarna, Puneet and Bulmer, J. and Shahedipour-Sandvik, F. and Charbon, Edoardo and Padmanabhan, Preethi and Hancock, Bruce and Bell, L. Douglas (2016) Single Photon Counting UV Solar-Blind Detectors Using Silicon and III-Nitride Materials. Sensors, 16 (6). Art. No. 927. ISSN 1424-8220. PMCID PMC4934352. doi:10.3390/s16060927.

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Ultraviolet (UV) studies in astronomy, cosmology, planetary studies, biological and medical applications often require precision detection of faint objects and in many cases require photon-counting detection. We present an overview of two approaches for achieving photon counting in the UV. The first approach involves UV enhancement of photon-counting silicon detectors, including electron multiplying charge-coupled devices and avalanche photodiodes. The approach used here employs molecular beam epitaxy for delta doping and superlattice doping for surface passivation and high UV quantum efficiency. Additional UV enhancements include antireflection (AR) and solar-blind UV bandpass coatings prepared by atomic layer deposition. Quantum efficiency (QE) measurements show QE > 50% in the 100–300 nm range for detectors with simple AR coatings, and QE ≅ 80% at ~206 nm has been shown when more complex AR coatings are used. The second approach is based on avalanche photodiodes in III-nitride materials with high QE and intrinsic solar blindness.

Item Type:Article
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URLURL TypeDescription CentralArticle
Jewell, April D.0000-0001-8834-3769
Hamden, Erika T.0000-0002-3131-7372
Charbon, Edoardo0000-0002-0620-3365
Padmanabhan, Preethi0000-0002-0070-170X
Additional Information:© 2016 MDPI AG. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY) which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. Received: 31 March 2016; Revised: 5 June 2016; Accepted: 7 June 2016; Published: 21 June 2016. We gratefully acknowledge the collaborative effort with e2v, Inc. (Chelmsford, UK) and helpful discussions with P. Pool, P. Fochi, A. Reinheimer, P. Jorden, and P. Jerram of e2v. We acknowledge excellent collaborative effort and support from M. McClish at Radiation Monitoring Devices (RMD, Watertown, MA, USA) and D. Hitlin of Caltech. The authors thank S. Riccardi and R. Myers of RMD for QE measurements on superlattice-doped avalanche photodiodes. This work was carried out at Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology under a contract with NASA. We also acknowledge the support of W.M. Keck Institute (Pasadena, CA, USA) for Space Studies for partial support of this work. One of us, E.T.H acknowledges the support of NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship, NSF Fellowship, and R.M & G.B. Millikan Prize Fellowship at different stages of this project. P. P. was supported by an internship supported through JPL Visiting Research Student Program (JVRSP) and TU Delft Faculty of Electrical Engineering. Conflicts of Interest: The authors declare no conflict of interest. The funding sponsors had no role in the design of the study; in the collection, analyses, or interpretation of data; in the writing of the manuscript, and in the decision to publish the results.
Group:Keck Institute for Space Studies
Funding AgencyGrant Number
W. M. Keck Institute for Space StudiesUNSPECIFIED
NASA Earth and Space Science FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
R.M & G.B. Millikan Prize FellowshipUNSPECIFIED
JPL Visiting Research Student Program (JVRSP)UNSPECIFIED
TU Delft Faculty of Electrical EngineeringUNSPECIFIED
Subject Keywords:ultraviolet; quantum efficiency; MBE; ALD; EMCCD; APD; ROIC; Avalanche; visible rejection; MOCVD; GaN
Issue or Number:6
PubMed Central ID:PMC4934352
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160627-161156311
Persistent URL:
Official Citation:Nikzad, S.; Hoenk, M.; Jewell, A.D.; Hennessy, J.J.; Carver, A.G.; Jones, T.J.; Goodsall, T.M.; Hamden, E.T.; Suvarna, P.; Bulmer, J.; Shahedipour-Sandvik, F.; Charbon, E.; Padmanabhan, P.; Hancock, B.; Bell, L.D. Single Photon Counting UV Solar-Blind Detectors Using Silicon and III-Nitride Materials. Sensors 2016, 16, 927
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:68697
Deposited By: Tony Diaz
Deposited On:29 Jun 2016 22:27
Last Modified:26 Apr 2022 18:05

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