We investigate mechanisms by which interaction of light and matter may be affected by electrons, and show how this can lead to optoelectronic devices with superior properties. In particular, confined cloud of electron gas allows sculpting a wave function that affects both emission and absorption of radiation, while its collective, plasmonic, excitation may be used for optical wave guiding, coupling and radiation. Such processes require much less energy and are much faster than classical kinetic energy-based charge transport in traditional electronics. Here we present thin-film photodetectors in which 2D electron and hole charges allow operation in hundreds of GHz, without applied bias, requiring a fraction of microwatt of optical power. The 2D channel can also be structured to provide the momentum change that is required for coupling to excitation at THz range. The confined charge is then used as a plate of (an unconventional) capacitor which changes states by a factor of >1000, in tens of fs, requiring atto-joules of energy which is also switchable by light. This opto-plasmonic capacitor finds application in threshold logic based neuromorphic systems. These thin-film devices are produced in bottom-up core-shell nanowire (CSNW) technology, resulting in resonant optical cavities whose properties are controlled by 2D and 1D charge plasma, with orders of magnitude increase in absorption and emission of light that leads to lasing at room temperature even without vertical structure. Since CSNWs can be grown on Si, they can be good candidate platforms for Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC) and Silicon Photonics.
Enlargement of mammalian cells nuclei due to the cancerous inflammation can be detected early through noninvasive optical techniques. We report on the results of cellular experiments, aimed towards the development of a fiber optic endoscopic probe used for precancerous detection of Barrett's esophagus. We previously presented white light scattering results from tissue phantoms (polystyrene polybead microspheres). In this paper, we discuss light scattering properties of epithelial MDCK (Madine-Darby Canine Kidney) cells and cell nuclei suspensions. A bifurcated optical fiber is used for experimental illumination and signal detection. The resulting scattering spectra from the cells do not exhibit the predicted Mie theory oscillatory behavior inherent to ideally spherical scatterers, such as polystyrene microspheres. However, we are able to demonstrate that the Fourier transform spectra of the cell suspensions are well correlated with the Fourier transform spectra of cell nuclei, concluding that the dominate scatterer in the backscattering region is the nucleus. This correlation experimentally illustrates that in the backscattering region, the cell nuclei are the main scatterer in the cells of the incident light.
Along with breast and cervical cancer, esophageal adenocarcinoma is one of the most common types of cancers. The characteristic features of pre-cancerous tissues are the increase in cell proliferation rate and cell nuclei enlargement, which both take place in the epithelium of human body surfaces. However, in the early stages of cancer these changes are very small and difficult to detect, even for expert pathologists. The aim of our research is to develop an optical probe for in vivo detection of nuclear size changes using white light scattering from cell nuclei. The probe will be employed through an endoscope and will be used for the medical examination of the esophagus. The proposed method of examination will be noninvasive, cheap, and specific, compared to a biopsy. Before the construction of this probe, we have developed theory to determine the nuclei size from the reflection data. In this first stage of our research, we compare experimental and theoretical scattered light intensities. Our theoretical model includes the values of scatterer size from which we can extract the nuclei size value. We first performed the study of polystyrene microspheres, acting as a tissue phantom. Spectral and angular distributions of scattered white light from tissue phantoms were studied. Experimental results show significant differences between the spectra of microspheres of different sizes and demonstrate almost linear relation between the number of spectral oscillations and the size of microspheres. Best results were achieved when the scattered light spectrum was collected at 30° to the normal of the sample surface. We present these research results in this paper. In ongoing work, normal and cancerous mammalian cell studies are being performed in order to determine cell nuclei size correlation with the size of microspheres through the light scattering spectrum observation.
Efforts to exploit reduced dimensionality systems in semiconductor devices are presently driven by the continuing need to improve speed performance, transport efficiency, device density, and power management. In this work, we investigate the performance of novel GaAs/AlGaAs and InGaAs/InAlAs heterostructures for high-speed photodetector devices. First, a modulation-doped AlGaAs/GaAs device, suitable for monolithic integration with planar HEMT and FET devices, produces a built-in electric field that aids in the high-speed collection of photogenerated carriers. Surface Schottky electrodes on this structure form a planar interdigitated metal-semiconductor-metal (MSM) device for use at 850-nm wavelength. A second structure, an InGaAs/InAlAs quantum-well MSM photodetector for use at 1550-nm wavelength, utilizes recessed electrodes to contact directly the two-dimensional (2D) transport channel. Unfortunately, rather low Schottky barrier heights on undoped InGaAs lead to excessive dark currents when metal contacts are deposited directly on this material. To remedy this situation, we propose to form barrier-enhancement regions between the optically active 2D-quantum well and the lateral 3D-metal contacts by means of ion-implantation-induced quantum-well intermixing. Results indicate a reduction in dark current of nearly three orders of magnitude. Additionally, the high-speed performance appears not to be adversely affected under normal operating conditions by the potentially deleterious effects of carrier emission and accumulation at these heterojunction interfaces. The Fourier transform of a simulated transient current response to a light impulse indicates an electrical 3-dB bandwidth in excess of 50 GHz in a device with a recessed electrode gap of 1 μm.
In this work we describe a family of optical devices based on heterojunction and heterodimensional structures and we investigate their static and dynamic properties. Such devices are good candidates, due to their high performance, for utilization as the sensing element for the realization of sensors in the fields of telecommunications, remote sensing, LIDAR and medical imaging.
First, we present a Heterostructure Metal-Semiconductor-Metal (HMSM) photodetectors that employ a uniformly doped GaAs/AlGaAs heterojunction for the dual purpose of barrier height enhancement and creating an internal electric field that aids in the transport and collection of the photogenerated electrons. In this first family of devices, two doping levels are compared showing the direct effect of the aiding field due to modulation doping.
Subsequently, we analyze a novel Resonant-Cavity-Enhanced (RCE) HMSM photodetector in which a Distributed Bragg Reflector (DBR) is employed in order to reduce the thickness of the absorption layer thus achieving good responsivity and high speed as well as wavelength selectivity.
Current-voltage, current-temperature, photocurrent spectra, high-speed time response, and on-wafer frequency domain measurements point out the better performance of this last family of detectors, as they can operate in tens of Giga-Hertz range with low dark current and high responsivity. Particularly, the I-V curves show a very low dark current (around 10 picoamps at operative biases); C-V measurements highlight the low geometrical capacitance values; the photocurrent spectrum shows a clear peak at 850 nm wavelength, while time response measurements give a 3 dB bandwidth of about
30 GHz. Small signal model based on frequency domain data is also extracted in order to facilitate future photoreceiver
design. Furthermore, two-dimensional numerical simulations have been carried out in order to predict the electrical properties of these detectors.
Combination of very low dark current and capacitance, fast response, wavelength selectivity, and compatibility with high electron mobility transistors makes these devices especially suitable for the above-mentioned applications.
In this paper we describe the fabrication of an array of integrated cylindrical microlenses on top of a single GaAs MSM photodetector. Experimental data shows an increase of about 65% on the photocurrent of the MSM photodiode as a result of the improved optical coupling efficiency.
The most significant property of these networks is their differential response to stimuli moving in opposite directions. A quantitative analysis shows that this directional response adapts to mean luminance levels and varies with size and speed of moving objects, as well as with coupling order among elements of a network. Both biophysical and analog hardware implementations of this class of networks are given here. Implementation of unidirectional coupling and the response to directional edges are demonstrated and shown to accord well with that of the neural network.