In this paper, we present the effects of different surface passivation types, one with SiNx and the other with polyimide (PI), on the dark (leakage) current of a GaAs-based avalanche photodiode. We identified that the reverse dark current originates from the surface, and not from the bulk, showing the nearly linear dependence on perimeters of active-mesa (A-M) up to 90% of breakdown voltage (Vbr). From the theoretical results, total dark current consists of generation-recombination (G-R), shunt and tunneling components from a surface and the avalanche gain component from a bulk for both passivation types. Although the bulk component of avalanche gainbulk current generates the breakdown process, it appears only near Vbr (12.7 V) because of a very small bulk current of a few fA in theory. For a surface current, SiNx passivation has values two to eight times lower than PI passivation. The different behaviors of surface current between passivation types could be theoretically explained by quantitative description of the current components.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Materials Chemistry
- Condensed Matter Physics