Quantum efficiency enhancement of AlGaAs/GaAs quantum well infrared detectors using a waveguide with a grating coupler
Long wavelength quantum well detectors with very high quantum efficiency, based on the coupling of radiation into an optical resonant cavity or waveguide defined by a reflection grating coupler on one side of the infrared absorbing multiquantum well stack, and an aluminum arsenide cladding layer on the other, have been fabricated and the results compared with theory. Theory shows that quantum efficiencies up to 90% may be obtained (for polarized radiation). However, experimental results indicate that the response peak becomes broadened due to spread in the grating period and therefore the maximum quantum efficiency is in practice limited to 60%, corresponding to a current responsivity of 2.1 A/W. This is 2.7 times larger than for a 45° polished edge detector with the same quantum well characteristics.