Abstract

This paper reports a guardring-free planar AlInAs avalanche photodiode (APD) for optical fiber communications. AlInAs APDs can achieve a larger gain-bandwidth product (GBP) with lower excess noise than commercial InP APDs, and the guardring-free planar structure enables these superior AlInAs APDs to have both a low dark current and high reliability for practical use. We present the structure, fabrication, designs, APD characteristics, and receiver sensitivity, systematically. The guardring-free planar structure and its peculiarities are described, and we show APD designs for 2.5-Gb/s and 10-Gb/s applications and their characteristics. A 0.2-$\mu{\hbox {m}}$-thick AlInAs multiplication layer achieves a GBP of 120 GHz and an excess noise factor of 2.9 at a multiplication factor of 10. Their dark currents are less than 20 nA and their lifetime is evaluated to be 25 million hours at 85$^{\circ}{\hbox {C}}$. Lastly, we demonstrate that the guardring-free planar AlInAs APDs with a transimpedance amplifier achieve the remarkable sensitivity of $-$37.0 dBm at a bit error rate of $10^{-10}$ for 2.5-Gb/s signals and of $-$29.9 dBm at a bit error rate of $10^{-12}$ for 10-Gb/s signals. This performance indicates that the guardring-free planar AlInAs APDs have made great advances against commercial InP APDs and other AlInAs APDs.

© 2009 IEEE

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