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Growth and characterisation of InGaAs-based quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors
Linköping University, Department of Physics, Chemistry and Biology, Materials Science . Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
2008 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

This thesis presents results from the development of quantum dot (QD) based infrared photodetectors (IPs). The studies include epitaxial growth of QDs, investigations of the structural, optical and electronic properties of QD-based material as well as characterisation of the resulting components.

Metal-organic vapour phase epitaxy is used for growth of self-assembled indium arsenide (InAs) QDs on gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrates. Through characterisation by atomic force microscopy, the correlation between size distribution and density of quantum dots and different growth parameters, such as temperature, InAs deposition time and V/III-ratio (ratio between group V and group III species) is achieved. The V/III-ratio is identified as the most important parameter in finding the right growth conditions for QDs. A route towards optimisation of the dot size distribution through successive variations of the growth parameters is presented.

The QD layers are inserted in In0.15Ga0.85As/GaAs quantum wells (QWs), forming so-called dots-in-a-well (DWELL) structures. These structures are used to fabricate IPs, primarily for detection in the long wavelength infrared region (LWIR, 8-14 μm).

The electron energy level schemes of the DWELL structures are revealed by a combination of different experimental techniques. From Fourier transform photoluminescence (FTPL) and FTPL excitation (FTPLE) measurements the energy level schemes of the DWELL structures are deduced. Additional information on the energy level schemes is obtained from tunneling capacitance measurements and the polarization dependence studies of the interband transitions. From tunneling capacitance measurements, the QD electron energy level separation is confirmed to be 40-50 meV and from the polarization dependence measurements, the heavy hole character of the upper hole states are revealed.

Further characterisation of the IPs, by interband and intersubband photocurrent measurements as well as dark current measurements, is performed. By comparing the deduced energy level scheme of the DWELL structure and the results of the intersubband photocurrent measurements, the origin of the photocurrent is determined. The main intersubband transition contributing to the photocurrent is identified as the QD ground state to a QW excited state transition. Optical pumping is employed to gain information on the origin of an additional photocurrent peak observed only at temperatures below 60 K. By pumping resonantly with transitions associated with certain quantum dot energy levels, this photocurrent peak is identified as an intersubband transition emanating from the quantum dot excited state. Furthermore, the detector response is increased by a factor of 10, when using simultaneous optical pumping into the quantum dots states, due to the increasing electron population created by the pumping. In this way, the potentially achievable responsivity of the detector is predicted to be 250 mA/W.

Significant variations of photocurrent and dark currents are observed, when bias and temperature are used as variable parameters. The strong bias and temperature dependence of the photocurrent is attributed to the escape route from the final state in the QW, which is limited by tunneling through the triangular barrier. Also the significant bias and temperature dependence of the dark current could be explained in terms of the strong variation of the escape probability from different energy states in the DWELL structure, as revealed by interband photocurrent measurements. These results are important for the future optimisation of the DWELL IP.

Tuning of the detection wavelength within the LWIR region is achieved by means of a varying bias across the DWELL structure. By positioning the InAs quantum dot layer asymmetrically in a 8 nm wide In0.15Ga0.85As/GaAs quantum well, a step-wise shift in the detection wavelength from 8.4 to 10.3 μm could be achieved by varying the magnitude and polarity of the applied bias. These tuning properties could be essential for applications such as odulators and dual-colour infrared detection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press , 2008. , 70 p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1226
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15774ISBN: 978-91-7393-741-2 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-15774DiVA: diva2:127244
Public defence
2008-12-19, Planck, Fysikhuset, Campus Valla, Linköpings universitet, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note
On the day of the defence date the status on article IV was: Accepted.Available from: 2008-12-03 Created: 2008-12-03 Last updated: 2009-04-30Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Optimising uniformity of InAs/(InGaAs)/GaAs quantum dots grown by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Optimising uniformity of InAs/(InGaAs)/GaAs quantum dots grown by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy
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2006 (English)In: Applied Surface Science, ISSN 0169-4332, Vol. 252, no 15, 5525-5529 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A route towards optimisation of uniformity and density of InAs/(InGaAs)/GaAs quantum dots grown by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) through successive variations of the growth parameters is reported. It is demonstrated that a key parameter in obtaining a high density of quantum dots is the V/III ratio, a fact which was shown to be valid when either AsH3 (arsine) or tertiary-butyl-arsine (TBA) were used as group V precursors. Once the optimum V/III ratio was found, the size distribution was further improved by adjusting the nominal thickness of deposited InAs material, resulting in an optimum thickness of 1.8 monolayers of InAs in our case. The number of coalesced dots was minimised by adjusting the growth interruption time to approximately 30 s. Further, the uniformity was improved by increasing the growth temperature from 485 °C to 520 °C. By combining these optimised parameters, i.e. a growth temperature of 520 °C, 1.8 monolayers InAs thickness, 30 s growth stop time and TBA as group V precursor, a full-width-half-maximum (FWHM) of the low temperature luminescence band of 40 meV was achieved, indicating a narrow dot size distribution.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Elsevier, 2006
Keyword
Quantum dot, Epitaxy, MOVPE, InAs/GaAs, TBA, Growth
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15764 (URN)10.1016/j.apsusc.2005.12.128 (DOI)
Note
Original Publication: Linda Höglund, E. Petrini, C. Asplund, H. Malm, J. Y. Andersson and Per-Olof Holtz, Optimising uniformity of InAs/(InGaAs)/GaAs quantum dots grown by metal organic vapor phase epitaxy, 2006, Applied Surface Science, (252), 15, 5525-5529 . http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.apsusc.2005.12.128 Copyright: Elsevier Science B.V., Amsterdam. http://www.elsevier.com/ Available from: 2009-07-09 Created: 2008-12-03 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically approved
2. Origin of photocurrent in lateral quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Origin of photocurrent in lateral quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors
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2006 (English)In: Applied Physics Letters, ISSN 0003-6951, Vol. 88, no 21Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Interband and intersubband transitions of lateral InAs/In0.15Ga0.85As dots-in-a-well quantum dot infrared photodetectors were studied in order to determine the origin of the photocurrent. The main intersubband transition contributing to the photocurrent (PC) was associated with the quantum dot ground state to the quantum well excited state transition. By a comparison between intersubband PC measurements and the energy level scheme of the structure, as deduced from Fourier transform photoluminescence (FTPL) and FTPL excitation spectroscopies, the main transition contributing to the PC was identified.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Institute of Physics, 2006
Keyword
indium compounds, gallium arsenide, III-V semiconductors, semiconductor quantum wells, semiconductor quantum dots, photodetectors, infrared detectors, photoluminescence, ground states, excited states, Fourier transform spectra, photoconductivity
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15766 (URN)10.1063/1.2207493 (DOI)
Note
Original Publication: Linda Höglund, Per-Olof Holtz, C. Asplund, Q. Wang, S. Almqvist, H. Malm, E. Petrini, H. Pettersson and J. Y. Andersson, Origin of photocurrent in lateral quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors, 2006, Applied Physics Letters, (88), 213510. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2207493 Copyright: American Institute of Physics http://www.aip.org/ Available from: 2009-01-15 Created: 2008-12-03 Last updated: 2010-01-14Bibliographically approved
3. Bias and temperature dependence of the escape processes in quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bias and temperature dependence of the escape processes in quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors
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2008 (English)In: Applied Physics Letters, ISSN 0003-6951, Vol. 93, no 10, 103501- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The performance of quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors (DWELL IPs) has been studied by means of interband and intersubband photocurrent measurements as well as dark current measurements. Using interband photocurrent measurements, substantial escape of electrons from lower lying states in the DWELL structure at large biases was revealed. Furthermore, a significant variation in the escape probability from energy states in the DWELL structure with applied bias was observed. These facts can explain the strong temperature and bias dependence of both photocurrent and dark currents in DWELL IPs.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Institute of Physics, 2008
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15767 (URN)10.1063/1.2977757 (DOI)
Note
Original Publication: Linda Höglund, Per-Olof Holtz, H. Pettersson, C. Asplund, Q. Wang, S. Almqvist, S. Smuk, E. Petrini and J. Y. Andersson, Bias and temperature dependence of the escape processes in quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors, 2008, Applied Physics Letters, (93), 103501. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.2977757 Copyright: American Institute of Physics http://www.aip.org/ Available from: 2009-01-15 Created: 2008-12-03 Last updated: 2009-04-30Bibliographically approved
4. Bias mediated tuning of the detection wavelength in asymmetrical quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bias mediated tuning of the detection wavelength in asymmetrical quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors
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2008 (English)In: Applied Physics Letters, ISSN 0003-6951, Vol. 93, no 20, 203512- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Bias-mediated tuning of the detection wavelength within the infrared wavelength region is demonstrated for quantum dots-in-a-well and dots-on-a-well infrared photodetectors. By positioning the InAs quantum dot layer asymmetrically in an 8 nm wide In0.15Ga0.85As/GaAs quantum well, a shift in the peak detection wavelength from 8.4 to 10.3  µm was observed when reversing the polarity of the applied bias. For a dots-on-a-well structure, the peak detection wavelength was tuned from 5.4 to 8  µm with small changes in the applied bias. These tuning properties could be essential for applications such as modulators and dual-color infrared detection.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
American Institute of Physics, 2008
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15769 (URN)10.1063/1.3033169 (DOI)
Note
Original Publication: Linda Höglund, Per-Olof Holtz, H. Pettersson, C. Asplund, Q. Wang, H. Malm, S. Almqvist, E. Petrini and J. Y. Andersson, Bias mediated tuning of the detection wavelength in asymmetrical quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors, 2008, Applied Physics Letters, (93), 203512. http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3033169 Copyright: American Institute of Physics http://www.aip.org/ Available from: 2009-01-15 Created: 2008-12-03 Last updated: 2009-04-30Bibliographically approved
5. Optical pumping as artificial doping in quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Optical pumping as artificial doping in quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors
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2009 (English)In: Applied Physics Letters, ISSN 0003-6951, Vol. 94, no 5, 053503- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Resonant optical pumping across the band gap was used as artificial doping in InAs/In0.15Ga0.85As/GaAs quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors. By selectively increasing the electron population in the different quantum dot energy levels, the low temperature photocurrent peaks observed at 120 and 148 meV, could be identified as intersubband transitions emanating from the quantum dot ground state and the quantum dot excited state, respectively. With efficient filling of the quantum dot energy levels through simultaneous optical pumping into the ground states and the excited states of the quantum dots, the response was increased by a factor of 10.

Keyword
doping, excited states, gallium arsenide, III-V semiconductors, indium compounds, infrared detectors, optical pumping, photodetectors, quantum well devices, semiconductor quantum dots
National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15770 (URN)10.1063/1.3073048 (DOI)
Note
Original Publication:Linda Höglund, Q. Wang, S. Almqvist, E. Petrini, J. Y. Andersson, Per-Olof Holtz, H. Pettersson, C. Asplund and H. Malm, Optical pumping as artificial doping in quantum dots-in-a-well infrared photodetectors, 2009, Applied Physics Letters, (94), 053503.http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.3073048Copyright: American Institute of Physicshttp://www.aip.org/Available from: 2009-03-04 Created: 2008-12-03 Last updated: 2009-04-30Bibliographically approved
6. Energy level scheme of an InAs/InGaAs/GaAs quantum dots-in-a-well infraredphotodetector structure
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Energy level scheme of an InAs/InGaAs/GaAs quantum dots-in-a-well infraredphotodetector structure
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2010 (English)In: Physical Review B. Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, ISSN 1098-0121, E-ISSN 1550-235X, Vol. 82, no 3, 035314- p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

A thorough investigation of the energy level structure in a quantum-dots-in-a-well infrared photodetector has been performed employing different experimental techniques. From photoluminescence (PL) and PL excitation (PLE) spectroscopy an approximate energy level scheme of the conduction and valence band energy structures was deduced. By studying the polarisation dependence of the quantum dot interband transitions, it was revealed that the QDs hold two electron energy levels and two heavy hole levels. An electron energy level separation of 50 meV was deduced from tunneling capacitance measurements. From photocurrent measurements with simultaneous optical pumping a quantum dot - quantum well energy level separation of 150 meV was revealed.

National Category
Other Engineering and Technologies not elsewhere specified
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-15772 (URN)10.1103/PhysRevB.82.035314 (DOI)000280208000007 ()
Note
Original Publication: Linda Höglund, K. Fredrik Karlsson, Per-Olof Holtz, H. Pettersson, L.E. Pistol, Q. Wang, S. Almqvist, C. Asplund, H. Malm, E. Petrini and J. Y. Andersson, Energy level scheme of an InAs/InGaAs/GaAs quantum dots-in-a-well infraredphotodetector structure, 2010, Physical Review B. Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, (82), 3, 035314. http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.82.035314 Copyright: American Physical Society http://www.aps.org/ Available from: 2008-12-04 Created: 2008-12-03 Last updated: 2015-01-23Bibliographically approved

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