Indexed on: 01 Jun '97Published on: 01 Jun '97Published in: Journal of Electronic Materials
We have studied the 1/f noise current in narrow gap semiconductor heterostructure diodes fabricated in mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe) and designed to operate in a non-equilibrium mode at room temperature. HgCdTe heterostructure diodes exhibit Auger suppression giving current-voltage characteristics with high peak-to-valley ratios (up to 35), and low extracted saturation current densities (e.g., 20 Acnr−2 at 10 pm at 295K) but high 1/f knee frequencies (e.g., 100 MHz at 10 µm at 295K). A comparison is made with the noise levels found in room temperature non-equilibrium mode heterostructure InAlSb/InSb diodes. The devices are being used at high frequencies for CO2 laser heterodyne detector demonstrators. For the devices to be useful in low frame-rate imaging arrays, the 1/f noise level must be sufficiently low that the signal is not swamped. Ideally, the knee frequency should be below the frame rate. The relationship between the noise current and reverse bias voltage, current density, and temperature will be examined in order to attempt to identify the principal 1/f generation mechanisms.