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In the present paper, we have been investigated deeply and parametrically the speed response of Si PIN photodiodes employed in high temperature-irradiated environment. The radiation-induced photodiodes defects can modify the initial doping concentrations, creating generation recombination centres and introducing trapping of carriers. Additionally, rate of the lattice defects is thermally activated and reduces for increasing irradiation temperature as a result of annealing of the damage. Nonlinear relations are correlated to investigate the current-voltage and capacitance-voltage dependences of the Si PIN photodiodes, where thermal and gamma irradiation effects are considered over the practical ranges of interest. Both the ambient temperature and the irradiation dose possess sever effects on the electro-optical characteristics and consequently the photo-response time and SNR of Si PIN photodiodes. In this paper, we derive the transient response of a Si PIN photodiode for photogeneration currents, when it is exposed to gamma radiation at high temperature. An exact model is obtained, which may be used to optimize the responsivity and speed of these irradiated devices over wide range of the affecting parameters.

In the present paper, we have been investigated deeply and parametrically the speed response of Si PIN photodiodes employed in high temperature-irradiated environment. The radiation-induced photodiodes defects can modify the initial doping concentrations, creating generation recombination centres and introducing trapping of carriers. Additionally, rate of the lattice defects is thermally activated and reduces for increasing irradiation temperature as a result of annealing of the damage. Nonlinear relations are correlated to investigate the current-voltage and capacitance-voltage dependences of the Si PIN photodiodes, where thermal and gamma irradiation effects are considered over the practical ranges of interest. Both the ambient temperature and the irradiation dose possess sever effects on the electro-optical characteristics and consequently the photo-response time and SNR of Si PIN photodiodes. In this paper, we derive the transient response of a Si PIN photodiode for photogeneration currents, when it is exposed to gamma radiation at high temperature. An exact model is obtained, which may be used to optimize the responsivity and speed of these irradiated devices over wide range of the affecting parameters.

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Speed Response and Performance Degradation of High TemperatureGamma Irradiated Silicon PIN Photodiodes

Abd El-Naser A. Mohamed

1

, Nabil A. Ayad

2

, Ahmed Nabih Zaki Rashed

1*

and Hazem M. El-Hageen

1, 2

1

Electronics and Electrical Communication Engineering Department,Faculty Electronic Engineering, Menouf, 32951, Egypt

2

Atomic Energy Authority, P.O. Box 29, Naser City, Cairo, Egypt

*

E-mail: ahmed_733@yahoo.com

Abstract

─

In the present paper, we have been investigateddeeply and parametrically the speed response of Si PINphotodiodes employed in high temperature-irradiatedenvironment. The radiation-induced photodiodes defects canmodify the initial doping concentrations, creating generation-recombination centres and introducing trapping of carriers.Additionally, rate of the lattice defects is thermally activated andreduces for increasing irradiation temperature as a result of annealing of the damage. Nonlinear relations are correlated toinvestigate the current-voltage and capacitance-voltagedependences of the Si PIN photodiodes, where thermal andgamma irradiation effects are considered over the practicalranges of interest. Both the ambient temperature and theirradiation dose possess sever effects on the electro-opticalcharacteristics and consequently the photo-response time andSNR of Si PIN photodiodes. In this paper, we derive the transientresponse of a Si PIN photodiode for photogeneration currents,when it is exposed to gamma radiation at high temperature. Anexact model is obtained, which may be used to optimize theresponsivity and speed of these irradiated devices over widerange of the affecting parameters.

Keywords: Radiation effects, PIN photodiode, Optoelectronics,Transient current, Dark current, Photocurrent, Quantumefficiency, Responsitivity.

I. INTRODUCTION

Since several years, photonic and lightwave technologyis seriously considered for optical access communication andmonitoring applications in space borne local communicationsystems and nuclear projects. A major problem in theseenvironments is the presence of radiation fields. Two types of damage affect the electronic devices when they are exposed tothe radiation [1]. The first one is ionization damage, it is atransitory damage. In contrast, displacement damage isconsidered permanent. For several reasons, the interest of study of the effects of performance of devices in high-temperature electronics is developing rapidly. If thesecomponents are to be used in a radiation environment,knowledge about the degradation under high-temperatureirradiation conditions is highly desirable [2]. Opticalcommunication devices in close proximity to radiation fieldssuch as those present in terrestrial orbits and high-energyaccelerators suffer both long term effects due to total dose anddisplacement damage from non-ionizing energy-loss, as wellas short term or transient effects due to local ionization fromnuclear reactions and high-energy recoils generated close to or within the depletion volume of a device. A photodiode works by generating current from photons absorbed in its activearea. In a semiconductor material, a region depleted of mobile charge carriers is formed near the P-N junction. Thiszone is called depletion region. Incident radiation within thisregion will create electron-hole pairs, immediately separated by the internal field. With no external voltage applied, thisinternal field will prevent the majority carriers to cross the junction. Minority carriers however are still capable of reaching the junction by diffusion and give rise to leakagecurrent. Electron-hole pairs generated outside the depletionregion will most likely recombine, consequently notcontributing to the photocurrent [3].The current–voltage technique is used to measure the rateof carrier creation and so the generation or the recombinationrate [4]. On the other hand, the capacitance–voltage techniquein reverse bias direction, is used to determine doping profilesof a semiconductor [4–6]. The capacitance measurements giveinformation about fixed impurity states and defect centers inthe band gap. Device testing, adequate system shielding andradiation tolerant design are some fundamental steps in themethodology or in the radiation hardness assurance [7] thatare needed to ensure the correct performance and efficiency of electronics during system life. But, there is an increasinginterest in the development of accurate modeling andsimulation techniques to predict device response under different radiation conditions [8].In the present study, we have been investigated andanalyzed parametrically and numerically the modeling basicsof a PIN photodiode device with the maximum possible precision, in order to predict the frequency response behaviour of Si PIN photodiodes when they were irradiated to differentdose of high-temperature gamma radiation environments over wide range of the affecting parameters.

II. Physical Modeling Basics

Radiation damage produces defects which can result inthree main effects on photodiode devices as following:- The increase in dark current can be related to the minoritycarrier lifetime of the semiconductor if the generation-recombination is dominated by mid-band levels caused bydefects. Another source affecting the dark current could beionizing damage to the surface of the device.- Degraded photocurrent as defects act as electron or holetrapping centers for the photogenerated pairs. The defects may be primary defects, i.e. defects which originate directly fromatomic displacements, or secondary defects resulting from theinteraction of mobile primary defects with impurities. Manydefects will recombine leading to an immediate repair of thelattice. However, some will combine to form stable defectssuch as interstitials, di-vacancies, vacancy-impuritycomplexes, vacancy-dopant complexes, and larger clusters.These defects form effective recombination and trappingcenters resulting in a decrease in the minority carrier lifetime,carrier density and carrier mobility. Defect centers position inthe band gap determines their activity and hence the

(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 5, May 2011268http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

conduction mechanism in devices made from such material[9]. Deep traps are defects whose ionization energy, E, ismuch greater than k

B

T (k

B

is the Boltzmann constant and T isthe temperature). They trap free carriers with the consequencethat they reduce the conductivity considerably. In contrast,shallow traps are easily ionized at equilibrium since

∆

E <<k

B

T, and so they increase the conductivity by releasingtrapped carriers. In depleted regions they contribute to thespace charge and the voltage required for full depletion.Generation–recombination (g-r) centers are situated near thecentre of the band gap, in which position their trapping for electrons and for holes is comparable, and so they easilygenerate or recombine e–h pairs. Then the free carriers areremoved to reduce the conductivity. Defect centers can alsoact as compensation centers in the electrical neutral bulk of asemiconductor. Here, the deep levels are not easily ionized atequilibrium and have the effect of locking away free carriersto reduce the conductivity. The response degradation [8] is probably related to type inversion of the low-doped layer fromn to p-type. At low integrated fluence, the radiation formingacceptor state levels compensate the donor states until theeffective doping concentration

N

eff

is reduced to that of theintrinsic semiconductor. At higher fluences, the effectivedoping is mainly provided by the radiation induced defects.The concentration of majority carriers decreases with theirradiation fluence.- Degraded rise

and fall times due to de-trapping or areduction in the carrier mobility [10]: The decrease in photocurrent and the increase in the dark current are expectedto be the major changes in thin junction devices such as photodiodes. The change in the device response, rise and falltimes are expected to be small, but still require measuring.Three main factors limit the speed of response of a photodiode. These are [11]:a) The drift time of the carriers through the depletion region; b) The diffusion time of the carriers generated outside thedepletion region;c) The time constant incurred by the capacitance of photodiode with its load and its associated circuit.Photons that penetrate the semiconductor can beabsorbed and its energy can be utilized in the generation of e– h pairs. The model that describes the rate of generation is [12]:

)exp()1()(

0

xh pr xG

opt

α ν α η

−−=

(1)where

r

is the reflection coefficient, Previous reports inliterature have stated that is independent of dose for 1 MeVelectron irradiations up to 5×10

15

cm

-2

[13].

η

is the quantumefficiency,

P

0

is the incident light intensity,

h

is the Planck constant,

ν

is the photon frequency,

α

is the absorptioncoefficient and

x

is the depth variable. The optical spectralresponse of a PIN photodiode is called the optical sensitivityor the responsivity and it is related to the total photon-inducedcurrent. If the width of the p-layer is much thinner than 1/

α

,the photon-induced current in the p-layer does not contributeto the total photocurrent.The current–voltage and capacitance-voltagecharacteristics, in the dark and under illumination are highlysensitive to the radiation-induced change of the minoritycarrier lifetime

τ

. In general, the damage coefficients for themean minority carrier lifetime in semiconductors depend onthe following parameters; type and energy of the incident particle, kind of material, resistivity, types and concentrationof impurities, injection level, temperature and elapsed timeafter irradiation [14, 15]. Also a semiconductor p–n junctionacts as a capacitor. The depletion region capacitance of auniformly doped lifetime diode at full depletion may beexpressed in terms of the dielectric constants

ε

0

,

ε

r

. In thissituation the effective carrier concentration is evaluated:

)2(2

202

V AqC N

r eff

ε ε

=

Where A is the active diode area, q is the electronic chargeand V is the full depletion voltage. This relation shows that N

eff

α

VC

2

, which may be simplified to V

α

C

−

2

for a constanteffective carrier concentration, which is the case for uniformdoping and is assumed for lifetime material. In anysemiconductor, a rise in temperature will increase the current,since carriers become thermally activated to increase theeffective carrier density, N

eff

, so that the current I

α

N

eff

. Anincrease in light intensity is expected to have the same effect[9]. Because the current is ohmic and is generated in thewhole of the depletion region, the depletion width becomes afunction of depletion voltage. The capacitance becomes afunction of radiation and temperature since electrons andholes are thermally activated.

III. Modeling Description

A) Optical and electrical properties analysis

The dark current, I

D

, for a device having depletion depth W,active area A and the effective carrier concentration, N

eff

under high temperature irradiation T and gamma radiationfluence

γ

is given by [15, 16]:

(3)),(2
),(),(

γ τ γ γ

T T N T qAW
I

r eff D

=

Where

τ

r

is the minority carrier lifetime after irradiation and itis given by [9, 12]:

)4(/1/1

0

γ τ

r r

K

+=

Where

τ

0

denotes the pre-irradiation minority carrier lifetimerespectively, and K

r

is the damage coefficient for

τ

r

. Assuminga linear relationship between damage increase and fluence, thedamage coefficient for dark current K

D

and light photocurrentK

P

, can be defined by following equation [15]:

)5()0()(

,,,,

γ γ

P D P D P D P D

K I I I

=−=Δ

Asimple model of the annealing can be constructed if weassume that the radiation-induced defects anneal according toa first-order mechanism (exponential recovery) [17], at agiven absolute high temperature irradiation T, K

D

can berelated to an activation energy E by the Arrhenius formula:

)6()/exp()0()(

T K E K T K

B D D

=

Where K

B

, is Boltzmann’s constant.Based on the data of [18-20], the following nonlinear thermaland radiation relations for the set Si PIN photodiode:

(7))()(),(

,,,

γ γ

Photo Dark Photo Dark Photo Dark

I T I T I

×=

)8(10207.8
10536.6
10137.1
108.7)0(
)831exp(1029.3)0(

892111424

⎪⎪⎪⎭⎪⎪⎪⎬⎫×⎟⎟⎟⎟ ⎠ ⎞⎜⎜⎜⎜⎝ ⎛ ×+×+×−×−=××+=

−−−−−

γ γ

T T I I T I I

Photo Photo Dark Dark

The drift current density of PIN photodiode is given as:

(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 5, May 2011269http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500

)9()1(
)1()1()(

000

W f W W opt drift

eahr qpeqdx xGq j

α α

υ ϕ

−−∫

−−=−==

The one-dimension diffusion equation for initial minorityholes P

n0

in the bulk n region is [11, 21]

)10(0)(

022

=+−−∂∂

xG p p x p D

opt pnnn P

τ

(11))1(

02022

x P pnn pn

e D L p p L p

α

α ϕ

−

−−=−

)12(

2

μ τ

qT K L D

B p p p

==

Where

τ

p

, L

P

and D

p

are minority carrier life time, diffusionlength and diffusion constant and

μ

is the carrier mobility.The solution of Eq. 11 under the boundary conditions P

n

=P

no

for x=

∞

, and P

n

=0 for x=W.

)13()
1(

00

W p p p pndiffu

e L Lq L Dqp j

α

α α ϕ

−

++=

)14(

diffudrift total

j j j

+=

)15()
111(

00

p pnW p p ptotal

L Dqpe L L Lq j

++−−+=

−

α

α α α ϕ

Under normal operating conditions, the dark-current terminvolving p

no

is much smaller so that the total photocurrent is proportional to the incident photon flux per unit area,

φ

0

.But under irradiation condition the total photocurrent isgiven by

[9]

:

)16(

Dark Photototal

I I I

+=

Where I

total

is the current measured under illumination, I

Dark

is the current measured in the dark, I

photo

is the current due tothe illumination only. The high-temperature irradiationinduce diffusion length change can be expressed as thefollowing expression:

)17()
11()1(

0

pW f photo photo

Lehr aqpa j I

α υ

α

+−−=×=

−

)18()1()1(1
1

00

ϕ ϕ α

α α

aq I eaq I e L

photoW photoW s p

−−−⎟⎟ ⎠ ⎞⎜⎜⎝ ⎛ =

Where a is the photodiode area. By comparing the differentcases of the depletion layer width, the junction capacitanceand the inverse of the absorption coefficient, a reasonablecompromise between high-frequency response and highquantum efficiency of photodiode is found for absorptionregion thicknesses between 1/

α

and 2/

α

.

)19()1)(1(ln
)/1(

0

⎟⎟ ⎠ ⎞⎜⎜⎝ ⎛ −+−==

ϕ α α α

aq I LW W

photo p s

Irradiation induced change of the depletion layer width andthe absorption coefficient must be take into consideration.Based on Eq.2 and the results of [5, 6] which shows thevariation of the effective carrier concentration, N

eff

of Si PIN photodiode with electron irradiation dose. The depletion layer capacitance with its initial value C

0

, when a voltage V isapplied to a junction with the built-in potential (V

bi

(Si)

~0.65v[9]), is given by:

)20()1()exp(),(

210

bi

V V T aaC T C

++×−=

βγ γ

Where T is the ambient temperature,

γ

is irradiation fluence,C

0

/a

1

=1.176×10

-9

, a

2

=0.001052,.

β

=1.139×10

-15

and V=-1volt.The depletion width W can be expressed as the following [9]

)21()(2
)(2

bieff bi

V V qN V V W

+=+=

ερμ ε

)22(

0

C AW

r

ε ε

=

Where A is the effective photodiode area, q is the electroniccharge, N

eff

is the carrier concentration,

ε

r

is the dielectricconstant of silicon,

ε

0

is the vacuum permittivity. From the previous results [4, 5], we can observed that

ε

r

is constant for radiation but it is function of temperature as [22]:

)23(101347.8
100384.1100268.1631.11)(

310263

T T T T

Sir

−−−

×−×+×+≈

ε

The Tauc model [23] has been used as a stander modelwhereby the optical gap of an amorphous semiconductor may be determined as:

)24()()(

20

g

E hh

−=

ν α ν α

Where 1/

α

0

is the band edge parameter and E

g

is energy gap.The energy gap of the perfect silicon as a function of thetemperature is given by [24]:

)25(63610731.4
166.1

24

T T E

g

+×−=

−

But for imperfect semiconductor as a result of radiationinduced defects the energy band gab E

g

is replace by Tauc bandgap energy E

gTauc

[23], then

α

will became:

)26()()(

20

Tauc g Tauc

E hh

−=

ν α ν α

In this case the residual absorption near the bandgap due to theintragap is called the Urbach tail [25], and can be expressedwith the following equation close to the bandgap:

)27()(exp)(

0

⎟⎟ ⎠ ⎞⎜⎜⎝ ⎛ −=

Urb g Urb

E E h Ah

υ υ α

We need a function for

α

that is valid for the entire spectralrange, i.e. an equation that combines (15) and (16) is smoothat the cross point, E

cross

:

)28()()(

crossUrbcrossTauc

E E

α α

=

)29()()(

crossUrbcrossTauc

E E

α α

′=′

Where

α

' denotes the first derivative with respect to theenergy. With equations (28) and (29) the following conditionsare obtained:

)30(21ln12

00

⎟⎟ ⎠ ⎞⎜⎜⎝ ⎛ ⎟⎟ ⎠ ⎞⎜⎜⎝ ⎛ +−=

A E E E E

UrbUrb g g

Tauc

α

)31()(

0

T E T E

uUrb

×=

Where Tauc and Urbach parameters of silicon material areA

0

=800cm

-1

, E

u0

=36 Mev [25], and

α

0

=4685cm

-1

[26].

B) Photodiode response analysis

The responsitivity,

S

, of a PIN photodiode can be expressedas:

)32(),(

0

υ η γ

hq P I T S

photo

==

Where the quantum efficiency,

η

, can be given by:

)33(11)1(
/)1(
/),(

0

⎟⎟ ⎠ ⎞⎜⎜⎝ ⎛ +−−=−=

−

pW f photo

Le Rhr P q I T

α ν γ η

α

In order to analyze the response time of irradiated PIN photodiode, assume a modulated photon flux density as:

(IJCSIS) International Journal of Computer Science and Information Security,Vol. 9, No. 5, May 2011270http://sites.google.com/site/ijcsis/ISSN 1947-5500