MBE growth of Sb-based nBn photodetectors on large diameter GaAs substrates

Dmitri Lubyshev, M. Fastenau Joel, Yueming Qiu, W. K Liu Amy, J. Koerperick Edwin, T. Olesberg Jonathon, Dennis Norton, N. Faleev Nikolai, Christiana Honsberg

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


The GaSb-based family of materials and heterostructures provides rich bandgap engineering possibilities for a variety of infrared (IR) applications. Mid-wave and long-wave IR photodetectors are progressing toward commercial manufacturing applications, but to succeed they must move from research laboratory settings to general semiconductor production and they require larger diameter substrates than the current standard 2-inch and 3-inch GaSb. Substrate vendors are beginning production of 4-inch GaSb, but another alternative is growth on 6-inch GaAs substrates with appropriate metamorphic buffer layers. We have grown generic MWIR nBn photodetectors on large diameter, 6-inch GaAs substrates by molecular beam epitaxy. Multiple metamorphic buffer architectures, including bulk GaSb nucleation, AlAsSb superlattices, and graded GaAsSb and InAlSb ternary alloys, were employed to bridge the 7.8% mismatch gap from the GaAs substrates to the GaSb-based epilayers at 6.1 - lattice-constant and beyond. Reaching ∼6.2 - extends the nBn cutoff wavelength from 4.2 to >5 μm, thus broadening the application space. The metamorphic nBn epiwafers demonstrated unique surface morphologies and crystal properties, as revealed by AFM, high-resolution XRD, and cross-section TEM. GaSb nucleation resulted in island-like surface morphology while graded ternary buffers resulted in cross-hatched surface morphology, with low root-mean-square roughness values of ∼10 - obtained. XRD determined dislocation densities as low as 2 - 107 cm-2. Device mesas were fabricated and dark currents of 1 - 10-6 A/cm2 at 150K were measured. This work demonstrates a promising path to satisfy the increasing demand for even larger area focal plane array detectors in a commercial production environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationInfrared Technology and Applications XXXIX
StatePublished - 2013
Event39th Infrared Technology and Applications - Baltimore, MD, United States
Duration: Apr 29 2013May 3 2013

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


Other39th Infrared Technology and Applications
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityBaltimore, MD


  • 6-inch GaAs substrates
  • GaSb
  • MBE
  • nBn photodetectors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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