P-N Junction Photodiodes

Authored by: Weida Hu

Handbook of Optoelectronic Device Modeling and Simulation

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781498749565
eBook ISBN: 9781315152318
Adobe ISBN:


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Semiconductor p-n junction photodiodes have been available for half a century. By applying an electric field across the p-n junction, the light-generated carriers create an electrical current flow, thus the p-n junction photodiodes can convert optical signals into electrical signals (Shi and Li, 2014). Sensing applications in infrared, visible, and ultraviolet spectral bands promote theoretical research of these photodiodes. Numerical simulations, containing structural details such as layer thicknesses, doping profiles, and trap concentrations, provide key insights into device design and reliability degradation mechanisms, which could effectively reduce costly and time-consuming testing when developing and characterizing a new semiconductor device or technology. However, simulations of p-n junction photodiodes involve many important physical models, which play a decisive role in the calculations of accurate results. This chapter covers some basic equations and models used in the simulations of p-n junction photodiodes. Another key point is the accurate knowledge of device material parameters. Because of the complexity of an actual device structure, different device and material parameters are needed for various designs and structures. A number of these characteristic input parameters required for accurate modeling when building a basic theoretical framework are explained in this chapter.

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