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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 17, Iss. 25 — Dec. 7, 2009
  • pp: 23160–23168

Quantum dot infrared photodetector enhanced by surface plasma wave excitation

S. C. Lee, S. Krishna, and S. R. J. Brueck  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 17, Issue 25, pp. 23160-23168 (2009)

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Up to a thirty-fold detectivity enhancement is achieved for an InAs quantum dot infrared photodetector (QDIP) by the excitation of surface plasma waves (SPWs) using a metal photonic crystal (MPC) integrated on top of the detector absorption region. The MPC is a 100 nm-thick gold film perforated with a 3.6 μm period square array of circular holes. A bare QDIP shows a bias-tunable broadband response from ~ 6 to 10 μm associated with the quantum confined Stark (QCS) effect. On the other hand, an MPC-integrated QDIP exhibits a dominant peak at 11.3 μm with a ~ 1 μm full width at half maximum and the highly enhanced detectivity at the bias polarity optimized for long wavelength. This is very different from the photoresponse of the bare QDIP but fully consistent with the direct coupling of the QDs in the detector absorption region to the SPWs excited at the MPC/detector interface by incident photons. The SPW resonance wavelength, λ, for the smallest coupling wavevector of the array in the MPC is close to 11.3 µm. The response also shows other SPW-coupled peaks: a significant peak at 8.1 μm (~λ/√2) and noticeable peaks at 5.8 μm (~λ/2) and 5.4 μm (~λ/√5) which correspond to higher-order coupling wavevectors. For the opposite bias, the MPC-integrated QDIP shows the highest response at 8.1 μm, providing a dramatic voltage tunability that is associated with QCS effect. SPWs propagate with TM (x, z) polarization along the MPC/detector interface. The enhanced detectivity is explained by these characteristics which increase both the effective absorption cross section with propagation and the interaction strength with TM polarization in the coupling to the QDs. Simulations show good qualitative agreement with the observed spectral behavior.

© 2009 OSA

OCIS Codes
(130.3060) Integrated optics : Infrared
(230.5160) Optical devices : Photodetectors
(240.6680) Optics at surfaces : Surface plasmons
(250.5403) Optoelectronics : Plasmonics
(310.6628) Thin films : Subwavelength structures, nanostructures

ToC Category:

Original Manuscript: November 2, 2009
Revised Manuscript: November 23, 2009
Manuscript Accepted: November 23, 2009
Published: December 2, 2009

S. C. Lee, S. Krishna, and S. R. J. Brueck, "Quantum dot infrared photodetector enhanced by surface plasma wave excitation," Opt. Express 17, 23160-23168 (2009)

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