Long-wave infrared (LWIR) detector technologies with the ability to operate at or near room temperature are very
important for many civil and military applications including chemical identification, surveillance, defense and medical
diagnostics. Eliminating the need for cryogenics in a detector system can reduce cost, weight and power consumption;
simplify the detection system design and allow for widespread usage. In recent years, infrared (IR) detectors based on
uni-polar barrier designs have gained interest for their ability to lower dark current and increase a detector's operating
Our group is currently investigating nBn and pBp detectors with InAs/GaSb strain layer superlattice (SLS)
absorbers (n) and contacts (n), and AlGaSb and InAs/AlSb superlattice electron and hole barriers (B) respectively. For
the case of the nBn structure, the wide-band-gap barrier material (AlGaSb) exhibits a large conduction band offset and a
small valence band offset with the narrow-band-gap absorber material. For the pBp structure (InAs/AlSb superlattice
barrier), the converse is true with a large valence band offset between the barrier and absorber and a small or zero
conduction band offset. Like the built-in barrier in a p-n junction, the heterojunction barrier blocks the majority carriers
allowing free movement of photogenerated minority carriers. However, the barrier in an nBn or pBp detector, in contrast
with a p-n junction depletion layer, does not contribute to generation-recombination (G-R) current.
In this report we aim to investigate and contrast the performance characteristics of an SLS nBn detector with that of
and SLS pBp detector.