Bringing Integrated Avalanche Detectors into the (Visible) Light

From smartphone cameras to fiber-optic communications, many modern technologies are made possible by sensors that detect photons of light and convert them into energy. Called photodetectors, these sensors have grown in sophistication over the years. Avalanche photodetectors (APDs), for instance, can rapidly multiply weak stimuli like a few photons of light into larger, detectable signals. By integrating APDs into optically-activated photonics circuits, many advances would be enabled by the faster speed, smaller device size and lower cost.

To determine the optimal device design, the researchers varied different parameters, including the geometry and doping profile. While an interdigitated profile featuring alternating positively and negatively charged regions was more tolerant of fabrication errors, the trade-off was a loss of speed. Instead, the team found that a lateral doping profile with continuously aligned positive and negative regions was faster and more efficient.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Materials Research and Engineering (IMRE) and the Institute of High Performance Computing (IHPC).

Read the full article published on A*STAR Research.