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Infrared photodetector

Foreign code F110003526
File No. B15-02WO
Posted date Jun 28, 2011
Country United States of America
Application number 63129005
Gazette No. 20070215860
Gazette No. 7705306
Date of filing Jul 6, 2005
Gazette Date Sep 20, 2007
Gazette Date Apr 27, 2010
International application number JP2005012486
International publication number WO2006006469
Date of international filing Jul 6, 2005
Date of international publication Jan 19, 2006
Priority data
  • P2004-203879 (Jul 9, 2004) JP
  • P2004-368579 (Dec 20, 2004) JP
  • 2005WO-JP12486 (Jul 6, 2005) WO
Title Infrared photodetector
Abstract (US7705306)
An infrared photodetector that is capable of efficiently detecting single photon over an extensive range of wavelengths from several μm to several hundreds of μm and is suitable for arraying, and wherein an oscillatory electric field of a single infrared photon (37) parallel to a plane of the patch section (36) of a microstrip antenna when the photon is incident to cause the latter to resonate therewith is converted to an oscillatory electric field (38z) in a z direction, which an electron (39) in a quantum dot (24a) in its base state subband (30) is allowed to absorb, thereby being excited to a first excitation state subband (31) to tunnel through a potential barrier (32) and set free to escape into a quantum well (26) in a -z direction where it is absorbed.
An electric field by ionization of the quantum dot (24a) as a result of escape of the electron (39) causes change in conductance of a point contact (26e).
An ionized state continuing long, the integral of change in current (42) flowing from a source (26a) to a drain (26b) becomes a magnitude that can be detected, and sensitivity that allows detecting a single infrared photon is achieved.
Scope of claims [claim1]
1. An infrared photodetector comprising: an isolated two-dimensional electron layer electrically isolated from its surroundings for creating electrons excited upon absorbing incident infrared photons,
means for focusing the incident infrared photons upon said isolated two-dimensional electron layer,
means for setting free the electrons excited by absorbing the infrared light to escape from said isolated two-dimensional electron layer, thereby to charge said isolated two-dimensional electron layer, and
a charge sensitive transistor in which change in current occurs when said isolated two-dimensional electron layer is charged and is maintained while said isolated two-dimensional electron layer is being charged,
characterized in that said infrared photodetector includes means for focusing incident infrared photons upon said isolated two-dimensional electron layer and further for creating an oscillatory electric field component for incident infrared photons, perpendicular to a plane of the isolated two-dimensional electron layer, thereby selectively bringing about a two-dimensional intersubband excitation for electrons in said isolated two-dimensional electron layer.
[claim2]
2. The infrared photodetector as set forth in claim 1, characterized in that: said isolated two-dimensional electron layer comprises a quantum dot;
said means for selectively bringing about said two-dimensional intersubband excitation comprises a microstrip antenna laid across said quantum dot;
said means to charge said isolated two-dimensional electron layer comprises a tunnel baffler layer arranged at an underside of said quantum dot and a source and a drain electrode of a point-contact transistor arranged at an underside of said tunnel barrier layer; and
said charge sensitive transistor comprises said point-contact transistor.
[claim3]
3. The infrared photodetector as set forth in claim 2, characterized in that said point-contact transistor comprises a two-dimensional electron layer, a gate electrode whereby an area in which two-dimensional electrons exist in said two-dimensional electron layer is pinched to a submicron size, and a source and a drain electrode connecting to a point as said area of two-dimensional electrons existing that is to be pinched to a submicron size.
[claim4]
4. The infrared photodetector as set forth in claim 1, characterized in that: said isolated two-dimensional electron layer comprises a quantum dot;
said means for selectively bringing about said two-dimensional intersubband excitation comprises a microstrip antenna laid across said quantum dot;
said means to charge said isolated two-dimensional electron layer comprises a gate electrode disposed laterally in a in-plane direction of said quantum dot and an escape electrode disposed laterally to said gate electrode; and
said charge sensitive electrode comprises a single-electron transistor arranged directly above said quantum dot.
[claim5]
5. The infrared photodetector as set forth in claim 1, characterized in that said isolated two-dimensional electron layer comprises a quantum dot;
said means for selectively bringing about said two-dimensional intersubband excitation comprises a microstrip antenna laid across said quantum dot;
said means to charge said isolated two-dimensional electron layer comprises a gate electrode disposed laterally in a in-plane direction of said quantum dot and an escape electrode disposed laterally to said gate electrode; and
said charge sensitive electrode comprises a point-contact transistor laid laterally of said gate electrode.
[claim6]
6. The infrared photodetector as set forth in claim 5, characterized in that said point-contact transistor comprises a two-dimensional electron layer, a gate electrode whereby an area in which two-dimensional electrons exist in said two-dimensional electron layer is pinched to a submicron size, and a source and a drain electrode connecting to a point as said area of two-dimensional electrons existing that is to be pinched to a submicron size.
[claim7]
7. The infrared photodetector as set forth in claim 1, characterized in that said isolated two-dimensional electron layer comprises a quantum dot;
said means for selectively bringing about said two-dimensional intersubband excitation comprises a microstrip antenna laid across said quantum dot;
said means to charge said isolated two-dimensional electron layer comprises a gate electrode disposed laterally in a in-plane direction of said quantum dot and an escape electrode disposed laterally to said gate electrode; and
said charge sensitive transistor comprises a point-contact transistor laid directly below said quantum dot.
[claim8]
8. The infrared photodetector as set forth in claim 7, characterized in that said point-contact transistor comprises a two-dimensional electron layer, a gate electrode whereby an area in which two-dimensional electrons exist in said two-dimensional electron layer is pinched to a submicron size, and a source and a drain electrode connecting to a point as said area of two-dimensional electrons existing that is to be pinched to a submicron size.
[claim9]
9. The infrared photodetector as set forth in claim 1, characterized in that said isolated two-dimensional electron layer comprises a quantum plate;
said means for selectively bringing about said two-dimensional intersubband excitation comprises a microstrip antenna laid across said quantum plate;
said means to charge said isolated two-dimensional electron layer comprises a tunnel baffler layer arranged at an underside of said quantum plate and a two-dimensional electron layer of a point-contact network transistor arranged beneath said quantum dot via said tunnel barrier layer intervening; and
said charge sensitive transistor comprises said point-contact network transistor.
[claim10]
10. The infrared photodetector as set forth in claim 9, characterized in that said point-contact network transistor comprises a two-dimensional electron layer, a back gate electrode whereby said two-dimensional electron layer is depleted immediately prior to its depletion for forming a network constituted of point contacts as areas of two-dimensional electrons existing which are pinched to a submicron size, and a source and a drain electrode connecting to both ends of said two-dimensional electron layer, respectively.
[claim11]
11. The infrared photodetector as set forth in claim 1, characterized in that said isolated two-dimensional electron layer, said means for selectively bringing about said two-dimensional intersubband excitation, said means to charge said isolated two-dimensional electron layer and said charge sensitive transistor are formed of a single semiconductor multilayered heteroepitaxially grown substrate.
[claim12]
12. An infrared photodetector, characterized in that such photodetectors as set forth in any one of claims 1 to 10, 6, 8 are connected together in the form of a series array.
[claim13]
13. An infrared photodetector, characterized in that such photodetectors as set forth in any one of claims 1 to 10, 6, 8 are connected together in the form of a two-dimensional matrix.
  • Inventor, and Inventor/Applicant
  • KOMIYAMA SUSUMU
  • AN ZHENGHUA
  • CHENG JENG-CHUNG
  • JAPAN SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY AGENCY
IPC(International Patent Classification)
Reference ( R and D project ) SORST Selected in Fiscal 2001
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