High-Power and High-Responsivity Avalanche Photodiodes for Self-Heterodyne FMCW Lidar System Applications

Zohauddin Ahmad, Yan Min Liao, Sheng I. Kuo, You Chia Chang, Rui Lin Chao, Naseem, Yi Shan Lee, Yung Jr Hung, Huang Ming Chen, Jyehong Chen, Jiun In Guo, Jin Wei Shi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this work, we demonstrate the high-power and high-responsivity performance of the dual multiplication (M-) layers in In0.52Al0.48As based avalanche photodiode (APD). The dual M-layer design in our APD structure effectively constrains the multiplication process to a thin high-field region rather than the whole thick M-layer. It thus minimizes the space charge effect (SCE) within and avoids increasing the tunneling dark current for the case of directly shrinking M-layer thickness in APD. Furthermore, by combining the specially designed mesa shape with this dual M-layer structure, the edge breakdown can be well suppressed. These benefits lead to an ultra-high gain-bandwidth product (450 GHz; 1 A/W at unit gain) and a high saturation current (>12 mA) can be simultaneously achieved in our device. By nonlinearly driving a wavelength sweeping laser in the self-heterodyne lidar setup, it can generate an optical pulse train-like waveform, providing an effective optical modulation depth of 200% to feed into our demonstrated APD at the receiver-end. Under such scheme, the photo-generated RF (1 GHz) power from our APD with a 6.3 A/W responsivity can be as high as +6.95 dBm at a high (7 mA) output photocurrent. Such high-power and high-responsivity characteristics of our APD can further improve the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio and dynamic range performances in each pixel of the lidar image. A high-quality 3-dimensional (D) FMCW lidar image is constructed based on our APD, without the integration of any electrical amplifier at the receiver end.

Original languageEnglish
Article number9453831
Pages (from-to)85661-85671
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2021


  • Avalanche photodiodes
  • FMCW lidar


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