Date of Degree
PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)
Thomas F. Boggess
All-optical time-resolved measurement techniques provide a powerful tool for investigating critical parameters that determine the performance of infrared photodetector and emitter semiconductor materials. Narrow-bandgap InAs/GaSb type-II superlattices (T2SLs) have shown great promise as next generation materials, due to superior intrinsic properties and versatility. Unfortunately, InAs/GaSb T2SLs are plagued by parasitic Shockley-Read-Hall recombination centers that shorten the carrier lifetime and limit device performance. Ultrafast pump-probe techniques and time-resolved differential-transmission measurements are used here to demonstrate that "Ga-free" InAs/InAs₁₋xSbx T2SLs and InAsSb alloys do not have this same limitation and thus have significantly longer carrier lifetimes. Measurements of unintentionally doped MWIR and LWIR InAs/InAs₁₋xSbx T2SLs demonstrate minority carrier (MC) lifetimes of 18.4 µs and 4.5 µs at 77 K, respectively. This represents a more than two order of magnitude increase compared to the 90 ns MC lifetime measured in a comparable MWIR and LWIR InAs/GaSb T2SL. Through temperature-dependent differential-transmission measurements, the various carrier recombination processes are differentiated and the dominant recombination mechanisms identified for InAs/InAs₁₋xSbx T2SLs. These results demonstrate that these Ga-free materials are viable options over InAs/GaSb T2SLs and potentially bulk Hg₁₋xCdxTe photodetectors.
In addition to carrier lifetimes, the drift and diusion of excited charge carriers through the superlattice layers (i.e. in-plane transport) directly aects the performance of photo-detectors and emitters. All-optical ultrafast techniques were successfully used for a direct measure of in-plane diffusion coeffcients in MWIR InAs/InAsSb T2SLs using a photo-generated transient grating technique at various temperatures. Ambipolar diffusion coefficients of approximately 60 cm²/s were reported for MWIR InAs/InAs₁₋xSbxT2SLs at 293 K.
Auger Recombination, Carrier Lifetime, Infrared Detectors, Superlattices, Ultrafast Optics
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