Abstract

We have demonstrated the operation of a frontside-illuminated GaAsAlGaAs quantum-well photodetector based on intersubband absorption in a quantum well (QW) with a targeted peak frequency of 3THz. A multiple-quantum-well structure consists of 20 periods of 18nm QWs interleaved by 80nm barriers with an Al alloy content of 2%. We measured the following performance characteristics: dark current, responsivity, and spectral response. A responsivity of 13mAW at an electric bias of 40mV and an operating temperature of 3K was obtained with a peak response close to the designed detection frequency. The dark current density was a few μAcm2 and was limited by thermally assisted tunneling through the barriers. We looked also at possible designs to optimize the device’s performance.

© 2008 Optical Society of America

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