The excess noise of avalanche photodiodes (APDs) integrated in a high-voltage (HV) CMOS process and in a pin-photodiode CMOS process, both with 0.35-μm structure sizes, is described. A precise excess noise measurement technique is applied using a laser source, a spectrum analyzer, a voltage source, a current meter, a cheap transimpedance amplifier, and a personal computer with a MATLAB program. In addition, usage for on-wafer measurements is demonstrated. The measurement technique is verified with a low excess noise APD as a reference device with known ratio k = 0.01 of the impact ionization coefficients. The k-factor of an APD developed in HV CMOS is determined more accurately than known before. In addition, it is shown that the excess noise of the pin-photodiode CMOS APD depends on the optical power for avalanche gains above 35 and that modulation doping can suppress this power dependence. Modulation doping, however, increases the excess noise.
Optimizing avalanche photodiodes (APDs) in standard complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) processes is challenging due to fixed doping concentrations of the available wells. A speed-improved APD in pin photodiode CMOS technology for high-sensitivity and high-speed applications using a lateral well modulation-doping technique is presented. The increased operating voltage of the presented device leads to a −3-dB bandwidth of 2.30 GHz with a multiplication factor of 20 for 1-μW optical power. This corresponds to a responsivity of 7.40 A/W. A multiplication factor of 44,500 was measured at 10-nW optical power. The thick absorption zone leads to an unamplified quantum efficiency of 72.2% at 635-nm wavelength.
We present the first optoelectronic integrated bipolar complementary metal oxide semiconductor (BiCMOS) receiver chip with an avalanche photodiode (APD). A large 200-μm-diameter APD connected to a high-speed transimpedance amplifier designed for a 2-Gbps optical wireless communication system is proposed. The complete chip was realized in a 0.35-μm silicon BiCMOS technology. Due to the thick intrinsic zone and multiplication gain, the responsivity of the APD reaches a value of up to 120 A/W for a wavelength of 675 nm. Furthermore, the capacitance of the APD is <500 fF for reverse bias voltages above 18 V. The receiver has a supply voltage of 3.3 V with a current consumption of 76 mA. The delivered 50-Ω single-ended output swing is 550 mVpp and the overall transimpedance is 260 kΩ with 1.02-GHz bandwidth. The achieved data rate is 2 Gbps with a sensitivity of −30.3 dBm at a bit error rate <10−9.