Room-temperature sub-band gap optoelectronic response of hyperdoped silicon

Nat Commun. 2014;5:3011. doi: 10.1038/ncomms4011.


Room-temperature infrared sub-band gap photoresponse in silicon is of interest for telecommunications, imaging and solid-state energy conversion. Attempts to induce infrared response in silicon largely centred on combining the modification of its electronic structure via controlled defect formation (for example, vacancies and dislocations) with waveguide coupling, or integration with foreign materials. Impurity-mediated sub-band gap photoresponse in silicon is an alternative to these methods but it has only been studied at low temperature. Here we demonstrate impurity-mediated room-temperature sub-band gap photoresponse in single-crystal silicon-based planar photodiodes. A rapid and repeatable laser-based hyperdoping method incorporates supersaturated gold dopant concentrations on the order of 10(20) cm(-3) into a single-crystal surface layer ~150 nm thin. We demonstrate room-temperature silicon spectral response extending to wavelengths as long as 2,200 nm, with response increasing monotonically with supersaturated gold dopant concentration. This hyperdoping approach offers a possible path to tunable, broadband infrared imaging using silicon at room temperature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.