The minority carrier lifetime in p-type InAs/GaSb type II superlattices (T2SLs) is quite short, typically in the region of tens of nanoseconds. In spite of this, T2SLs are becoming a viable alternative to Mercury Cadmium Telluride as the sensing material of choice for high end MWIR and LWIR infrared detectors. For example, SCD now manufactures a 640 × 512 format, 15 μm pitch LWIR focal plane array detector, with a quantum efficiency close to 50%, a pixel operability of >99.5%, and a dark current only about one order of magnitude larger than the state of the art Rule 07 value. A key to the very high performance of this detector is the use of an XBp barrier architecture that both suppresses the G-R current and allows stable passivation to all steps of the fabrication process. Since both the dark-current and photo-current in the XBp structure are diffusion limited, measurements of these quantities as a function of the device dimension provide an excellent vehicle for estimating the minority carrier lifetime and diffusion length, when performed in conjunction with k∙p calculations of the T2SL density of states. Typical lifetime results are presented, which are consistent with values found by others using direct measurements. Diffusion lengths are reported in the range 3-7 μm, although these are not necessary limiting values.
Keywords: Infrared Detector, Bariode, XBp detector, type II superlattice, InAs/GaSb superlattice, k∙p model, lifetime, diffusion length
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