Quantum Well Infrared Photodetectors (QWIPs) with different structures were characterized for the study of surface plasmon wave coupling. Detailed comparisons between surface plasmon coupled and etched grating coupled devices were investigated. A bias dependence for the enhancement of the responsivity of surface plasmon coupled devices was found, especially for the samples with non-uniform quantum wells. The non-uniform QWIPs with surface plasmon coupling showed an asymmetric enhancement with respect to the bias directions. Stronger enhancements were shown under the biases when a higher effective electric field region is close to the collector. The change of the photocarrier escape probability due to the narrow coupling bandwidth of the surface plasmon wave is attributed to this unexpected bias dependence. Published by AIP Publishing.
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