Progress in Symmetric and Asymmetric Superlattice Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors

Germano M. Penello, Pedro H. Pereira, Lesslie Guerra, Luciana D. Pinto, Roberto Jakomin, Renato T. Mourão, Marcos H. Degani, Marcelo Z. Maialle, Deborah Sivco, Claire F. Gmachl, Mauricio P. Pires, Patricia L. Souza

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Herein, two challenges are addressed, which quantum well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs), based on III-V semiconductors, face, namely: photodetection within the so-called “forbidden gap”, between 1.7 and 2.5 microns, and room temperature operation using thermal sources. First, to reach this forbidden wavelength range, a QWIP which consists of a superlattice structure with a central quantum well (QW) with a different thickness is presented. The different QW in the symmetric structure, which plays the role of a defect in the otherwise periodic structure, gives rise to localized states in the continuum. The proposed InGaAs/InAlAs superlattice QWIP detects radiation around 2.1 microns, beyond the materials bandoffset. Additionally, the wavefunction parity anomaly is explored to increase the oscillator strength of the optical transitions involving higher order states. Second, with the purpose of achieving room temperature operation, an asymmetric InGaAs/InAlAs superlattice, in which the QW with a different thickness is not in the center, is used to detect infrared radiation around 4 microns at 300 K. This structure operates in the photovoltaic mode because it gives rise to states in the continuum which are localized in one direction and extended in the other, leading to a preferential direction for current flow.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1800462
JournalAnnalen der Physik
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


  • infrared photodetectors
  • parity anomaly
  • quantum well infrared photodetectors
  • quantum wells
  • room temperature
  • superlattices


Dive into the research topics of 'Progress in Symmetric and Asymmetric Superlattice Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this