Avalanche Photodiodes with Composite Charge-Layers for Low Dark Current, High-Speed, and High-Power Performance

Naseem, Zohauddin Ahmad, Yan Min Liao, Po Shun Wang, Sean Yang, Sheng Yun Wang, Hsiang Szu Chang, H. S. Chen, Jack Jia Sheng Huang, Emin Chou, Yu Heng Jan, Jin Wei Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


In this work, a novel In0.52Al0.48As based top-illuminated avalanche photodiode (APD) is demonstrated. By combining the composite charge-layer design with a special p-side up etched mesa structure to zero the electric (E)-field at the periphery of this APD's multiplication (M-) layer, the edge breakdown phenomenon can be eliminated. This in turn leads to the simultaneous high-speed, high-saturation-power, high responsivity, and low-dark current performance characteristics of our APDs, which are essential for high-performance coherent receiver applications. The demonstrated device, with its simple top-illuminated structure exhibits a wide optical-to-electrical (O-E) bandwidth (21 GHz), high responsivity (5.5 A/W at 0.9 Vbr), and saturation current as high as 8 mA with a large active diameter of 24 μm for easy optical alignment. Furthermore, the nonlinear driving of a wavelength sweeping laser in the self-heterodyne beating setup can generate an optical pulse train like waveform, providing an effective optical modulation depth of up to 158%, which leads to a maximum photo-generated RF power (at 10 GHz) from our APD as high as +5.5 dBm. The excellent performance of our demonstrated APDs opens up new possibilities for the next generation of coherent receivers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Journal on Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2022


  • Avalanche photodiode
  • p-i-n photodiode


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