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Antenna-enhanced high-resistance photovoltaic infrared detectors based on quantum ratchet architecture

MDR Open Deposited

We demonstrate a quantum ratchet detector, which is a high-resistance photovoltaic mid-infrared detector based on an engineered spatial arrangement of subbands. In photovoltaic quantum-well photodetectors, in which unidirectional photocurrent is generated by asymmetric quantum-well structures, maximization of device resistance by suppressing undesired electron transports is crucial for minimizing noise. A semi-quantitative guideline suggests the significance of spatial separation between wavefunctions for reducing the conductance from the ground state. Here, we employ a step quantum well made of a shallow floor and a deep well. Photoexcited electrons are quickly transferred to a separated location from the ground state through fast resonant tunneling and phonon scattering, and then they are allowed to flow in only one direction. This architecture is made possible by the use of a GaAs/AlGaAs material system, and it achieves a resistance as high as 6.0×104 Ωcm2 with a single-period structure. Combined with optical patch antennas for responsivity enhancement, we demonstrate a maximum background-limited specific detectivity of 6.8×1010 cmHz1/2/W at 6.4 μm, 77 K for normal incidence, and a background-limited-infrared-photodetector temperature of 98 K.

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  • 03/06/2024
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  • VC 2024 Author(s). All article content, except where otherwise noted, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (https:// creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/). https://doi.org/10.1063/5.0208399
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