Improved spectral and temporal response of MSM photodetectors fabricated on MOCVD grown spontaneous AlGaAs superlattice

A. Pradhan, S. Mukherjee, T. Maitra, A. Nayak, S. Bhunia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


A co-planar metal-semiconductor-metal nonsymmetrical back to back Schottky diode photodetector using natural superlattice AlGaAs grown by metalorganic vapor phase epitaxy on GaAs (100) has been reported. The detection efficiency and photoresponse of the superlattice based device are found significantly superior compared to the one based on high temperature annealed homogeneous AlGaAs. Under a forward bias of 1 V, the peak values of responsivity, detectivity and sensitivity were 10.133 mA/W, 7.6 × 1011 cmHz1/2W−1, 81.06 cm2/W and 1.14 mA/W, 7.05 × 1010 cmHz1/2W−1, 2.82 cm2/W for the device with as-grown natural superlattice and homogeneous composition of AlGaAs, respectively. Besides, the device with natural superlattice structure showed much faster response to the pulsed light with rise and decay time of 560 μs and 1 ms as compared to 2 and 7 ms, respectively for the device with disordered bulk AlGaAs. The superior spectral and temporal characteristics of the device are explained by a model based on a third diode representing the net effect due to the superlattice modulations along with two Schottky diodes at the metal-semiconductor junctions. The third barrier, which is basically due to the periodic modulation in aluminium composition, plays an important role in enhancement of the photocurrent owing to the activation of the superlattice channels under light while keeping the dark current small. The fast sweeping of the photogenerated carries by the intrinsic electric field at the heterointerfaces in the active semiconducting layer makes the characteristic times of the device with the superlattice structures much smaller than one with homogeneous AlGaAs. Degradation in photoresponse and speed is attributed to the interdiffusion as an effect of thermal annealing.

Original languageEnglish
Article number111548
JournalSensors and Actuators, A: Physical
StatePublished - 1 Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • AlGaAs/GaAs
  • Metal-semiconductor-metal photodetector
  • Natural superlattice
  • Spectral response
  • Temporal response

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Instrumentation
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Surfaces, Coatings and Films
  • Metals and Alloys
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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