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Schottky photodetectors with transparent conductive oxides for photonic integrated circuits

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posted on 2023-11-07, 17:00 authored by Jacek Gosciniak, Jacob B. Khurgin
Silicon photonics has many attractive features but faces a major issue: inefficient and slow photodetection in the telecom range. New metal-semiconductor Schottky photodetectors based on intraband absorption address this problem, but their efficiency remains low. We suggest that by creating a junction between silicon and a transparent oxide with appropriate doping, which results in a real permittivity close to zero (known as the epsilon near zero or ENZ regime), detection efficiency could increase by more than tenfold. Using Aluminum Zinc Oxide (AZO) as an example, we design an optimized AZO/Si slot photonic waveguide detector that could potentially reach an efficiency of several tens of percent, in contrast to a few percent for a metal/Si Schottky detector. This increase is primarily due to the lower density of states in AZO compared to metal, along with superior coupling efficiency and strong absorption within a 10 nm slot.

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