Theory and Operation of a GaAs/AlGaAs/InGaAs Superlattice Phototransistor with Controlled Avalanche Gain

Albert Chin, Pallab Bhattacharya

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

The principle of operation of a bipolar transistor with controlled multiplication of one type of carriers is outlined. The ideal device, with a few periods of a staircase superlattice in the base-collector depletion region, has high current outputs at extremely low bias voltages and high current gains. The principle is experimentally demonstrated in a GaAs/AlGaAs/InGaAs phototransistor where three periods of a periodic pseudormorphic structure, in which electrons should predominantly multiply, are included in the collector depletion region. Independent measurements of the electron and hole avalanche multiplication rates, Mn and Mp, in these structures confirm that Mn/Mp and α/β are ~2-4, depending on bias voltage. The observed photocurrent characteristics agree reasonably well with Monte Carlo calculations made to simulate the transport of electrons through the collector region. Measured optical gains are as high as 142 in an n-p-n phototransistor with a 2000-Å p-base region.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2183-2190
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Volume36
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Jan 1989

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