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Chin. Phys. B, 2019, Vol. 28(2): 027801    DOI: 10.1088/1674-1056/28/2/027801
Special Issue: TOPICAL REVIEW — Photodetector: Materials, physics, and applications
TOPICAL REVIEW—Photodetector: materials, physics, and applications Prev   Next  

Progress in quantum well and quantum cascade infrared photodetectors in SITP

Xiaohao Zhou(周孝好), Ning Li(李宁), Wei Lu(陆卫)
State key Laboratory for Infrared Physics, Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics(SITP), Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shanghai 200083, China
Abstract  This paper presents a review of recent advances in quantum well and quantum cascade infrared photodetectors developed in Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences (SITP/CAS). Firstly, the temperature- and bias-dependent photocurrent spectra of very long wavelength (VLW) GaAs/AlGaAs quantum well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) are studied using spectroscopic measurements and corresponding theoretical calculations in detail. We confirm that the first excited state, which belongs to the quasi-bound state, can be converted into a quasi-continuum state induced by bias and temperature. Aided by band structure calculations, we propose a model of the double excited states that determine the working mechanism in VLW QWIPs. Secondly, we present an overview of a VLW QWIP focal plane array (FPA) with 320×256 pixels based on the bound to quasi-bound (BTQB) design. The technology of the manufacturing FPA based on the QWIP structures has been demonstrated. At the operating temperature of 45 K, the detectivity of QWIP FPA is larger than 1.4×1010 cm·Hz1/2/W with a cutoff wavelength larger than 16 μm. Finally, to meet the needs of space applications, we proposed a new long wavelength quantum cascade detector with a broadband detection ranging from 7.6 μm to 10.4 μm. With a pair of identical coupled quantum wells separated by a thin barrier, acting as absorption regions, the relative linewidth (Δ E/E) of response can be dramatically broadened to 30.7%. It is shown that the spectral shape and linewidth can be tuned by the thickness of the thin barrier, while it is insensitive to the working temperature. The device can work above liquid nitrogen temperature with a peak responsivity of 63 mA/W and Johnson noise limited detectivity of 5.1×109 cm·Hz1/2/W.
Keywords:  infrared photodetectors      quantum well      focal plane array      detectivity      broadband response  
Received:  26 November 2018      Revised:  19 December 2018      Published:  05 February 2019
PACS:  78.66.Fd (III-V semiconductors)  
  78.67.De (Quantum wells)  
  85.35.Be (Quantum well devices (quantum dots, quantum wires, etc.))  
  85.60.Gz (Photodetectors (including infrared and CCD detectors))  
Fund: Project supported by National Key Research and Development Program of China (Grant No. 2016YFB0402402) and the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 61521005).
Corresponding Authors:  Ning Li, Wei Lu     E-mail:;

Cite this article: 

Xiaohao Zhou(周孝好), Ning Li(李宁), Wei Lu(陆卫) Progress in quantum well and quantum cascade infrared photodetectors in SITP 2019 Chin. Phys. B 28 027801

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