Correlation between Visual Defects and Increased Dark Current in Large-Area Hg1−xCdxTe Photodiodes
Authors: D'Souza, A.I.; Stapelbroek, M.G.; Willis, R.; Masterjohn, S.; Dolan, P.; Alderete, M.; Bryan, E.; Ehlert, J.C.; Andrews, J.E.; Wijewarnasuriya, P.S.; Boehmer, E.; Bhargava, S.
Source: Journal of Electronic Materials, Volume 34, Number 6, June 2005 , pp. 933-938(6)
Abstract:The Cross-Track Infrared Sounder (CrIS) program [an instrument on the National Polar-Orbiting Operational Environmental Satellite System (NPOESS)] requires photodiodes with spectral cutoffs denoted by short-wavelength infrared [c(98 K) ∼ 5.1m], midwavelength infrared [c(98 K) ∼ 9.1 m], and long-wavelength infrared (LWIR) [c(81 K) ∼ 15.5 m]. The CrIS instrument also requires large-area (850-m-diameter) photodiodes with state-of-art performance. Molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) is used to grow n-type short-wavelength infrared, midwavelength infrared, or LWIR Hg1−xCdxTe on lattice-matched CdZnTe. Detectors with p-type implants 7 m in diameter are used to constitute the 850-m-diameter lateral collection diodes (LCDs). The photodiode architecture is the double-layer planar heterostructure architecture.
Quantum efficiency, I-V, Rd-V, and 1/f noise in photovoltaic Hg1−xCdxTe detectors are critical parameters that limit the sensitivity of infrared sounders. These are some of the parameters used to select photodiodes that will be part of the CrIS focal plane module (FPM). During fabrication of the FPM, the photodiodes are subject to a significant amount of handling while transitioning from part of newly processed Hg1−xCdxTe wafers to individual photodiodes mounted in a CrIS FPM ready to be flown on NPOESS. Quantum efficiency, I-V, noise, and visual inspections are performed at several steps in the detector's journey. Initial I-V and visual inspections are conducted at the wafer level followed by I-V, noise, and quantum efficiency after dicing and mounting the photodiodes in leadless chip carriers (LCCs). A visual inspection is performed following removal of the detectors from the LCCs. Finally, the individual photodiodes are precision mounted on an FPM base, and I-V, noise, quantum efficiency, and visual inspections are performed again. Each step in the FPM fabrication process requires handling and environmental conditioning that can result in detector dark current and noise increase. Some photodiodes on the first flightlike FPMs fabricated exhibited an increase in dark current and noise characteristics at the FPM level as compared to the measurements performed when the photodiodes were in LCCs prior to integration into the FPM. The degradation observed resulted in an investigation to discern the cause of the performance degradation (baking at elevated temperatures, mechanical handling, electrical stress, etc.). This paper outlines the results of the study and the corrective actions that led to the successful manufacture of LWIR large detectors from material growth to insertion into flight FPMs for the CrIS program.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2005-06-01