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Open Access Nano Express

Photovoltaic Ge/Si quantum dot detectors operating in the mid-wave atmospheric window (3 to 5 μm)

Andrew Yakimov*, Vyacheslav Timofeev, Aleksei Bloshkin, Aleksandr Nikiforov and Anatolii Dvurechenskii

Author Affiliations

Rzhanov Institute of Semiconductor Physics, Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Prospekt Lavrent’eva 13, Novosibirsk, 630090, Russia

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2012, 7:494  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-7-494

Published: 31 August 2012


Ge/Si quantum dots fabricated by molecular-beam epitaxy at 500°C are overgrown with Si at different temperatures Tcap, and effect of boron delta doping of Si barriers on the mid-infrared photoresponse was investigated. The photocurrent maximum shifts from 2.3 to 3.9 μm with increasing Tcapfrom 300°C to 750°C. Within the sample set, we examined devices with different positions of the δ-doping layer with respect to the dot plane, different distances between the δ-doping layer and the dot plane d, and different doping densities pB. All detectors show pronounced photovoltaic behavior implying the presence of an internal inversion asymmetry due to the placing dopants in the barriers. The best performance was achieved for the device with Tcap = 600°C, pB = 12 × 1011cm−2, and d = 5 nm in a photovoltaic regime. At a sample temperature of 90 K and no applied bias, a responsivity of 0.83 mA/W and detectivity of 8 × 1010 cm Hz1/2/W at λ = 3.4 μm were measured under normal incidence infrared radiation.

Quantum dots; Silicon; Germanium; Interband transitions; Infrared photodetectors