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.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy(all)
- infrared photodetectors
- parity anomaly
- quantum well infrared photodetectors
- quantum wells
- room temperature