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Sci Rep. 2016 Oct 24;6:35978. doi: 10.1038/srep35978.

Low-temperature-dependent property in an avalanche photodiode based on GaN/AlN periodically-stacked structure.

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Tsinghua National Laboratory for Information Science and Technology, Department of Electronic Engineering, Tsinghua University, Beijing 100084, China.
Microsystem &Terahertz Research Center, China Academy of Engineering Physics, Chengdu 610200, China.


In ultra-high sensitive APDs, a vibrate of temperature might bring a fatal decline of the multiplication performance. Conventional method to realize a temperature-stable APD focuses on the optimization of device structure, which has limited effects. While in this paper, a solution by reducing the carrier scattering rate based on an GaN/AlN periodically-stacked structure (PSS) APD is brought out to improve temperature stability essentially. Transport property is systematically investigated. Compared with conventional GaN homojunction (HJ) APDs, electron suffers much less phonon scatterings before it achieves ionization threshold energy and more electrons occupy high energy states in PSS APD. The temperature dependence of ionization coefficient and energy distribution is greatly reduced. As a result, temperature stability on gain is significantly improved when the ionization happens with high efficiency. The change of gain for GaN (10 nm)/AlN (10 nm) PSS APD from 300 K to 310 K is about 20% lower than that for HJ APD. Additionally, thicker period length is found favorable to ionization coefficient ratio but a bit harmful to temperature stability, while increasing the proportion of AlN at each period in a specific range is found favorable to both ionization coefficient ratio and temperature stability.

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