Abstract

A theoretical and experimental study of the zero-bias quantum efficiency η0 for metal (Au, Cu, Ag)–Ge Schottky barrier photodetectors in the near IR range (1.1 μm < λ < 1.8 μm)has been performed. By an interactive computer programming technique, the optical parameters of the metal thin film electrodes (index of refraction n and extinction coefficient k) as a function of wavelength and of film thickness are determined. Starting with a two-layer calculation of the reflectance R, transmittance T, and absorptance A of the metal electrode, it is found that the η0 in this near IR range is dominated by the band-to-band excitation of electrons in the Ge substrate. Using the minority carrier diffusion length Lp as an adjustable parameter, good agreement between theoretical and experimental results was found for Lp ≃ 150 μm; this value was obtained independent of choice of metal or metal thickness justifying the above procedure.

© 1980 Optical Society of America

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