Thin-film photodiode with an a-Si: H/nc-Si:H absorption bilayer

Y. Vygranenko, M. Vieira, A. Sazonov

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review


We report on the fabrication and characterization of n +-n-i- δ i-p thin-film photodiodes with an active region comprising a hydrogenated nanocrystalline silicon (nc-Si:H) n-layer and a hydrogenated amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) i-layer. The combination of wide- and narrow-gap absorption layers enables the spectral response extending from the near-ultraviolet (NUV) to the near-infrared (NIR) region. Moreover, in the low-bias range, when only the i-layer is depleted, the leakage current is significantly lower than that in the conventional nc-Si:H n +-n-p - photodiode deposited under the same deposition conditions. Device with the 900nm/400nm thick n-i-layers exhibits a reverse dark current density of 3 nA/cm 2 at -IV. In the high-bias range, when the depletion region expands within the n-layer, the magnitude of the leakage current depends on electronic properties of nc-Si:H. The density of shallow and deep states, and diffusion length of holes in the n-layer have been estimated from the capacitance-voltage characteristics and from the bias dependence of the long-wavelength response, respectively. To improve the quantum efficiency in the NIR-region, we have also implemented a Cr / ZnO:Al back reflector. The observed long-wavelength spectral response is about twice as high as that for a reference photodiode without ZnO:Al layer. Results demonstrate the feasibility of the photodiode for low-level light detection in the NUV-to-NIR spectral range.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAmorphous and Polycrystalline Thin-Film Silicon Science and Technology - 2011
Number of pages6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2012
Event2011 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, United States
Duration: 25 Apr 201129 Apr 2011


Conference2011 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


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