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Enhancing near-infrared light absorption in PtSi thin films for Schottky barrier IR detectors using moth-eye surface structures

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Abstract

Si-based Schottky barrier infrared detectors typically use thin (1–10 nm) PtSi or Pd2Si layers grown on Si substrates as an absorption medium. Herein, we demonstrate the use of sub-wavelength moth-eye (ME) structures on the Si substrate of such detectors to enhance absorption of near infrared (NIR) light in the active PtSi layer to increase detector efficiency. Absorbance enhancement of 70%–200% in the λ=12.5μm range is demonstrated in crystalline PtSi films grown via electron beam evaporation of Pt and subsequent vacuum annealing. Low total reflectance (<10%) was measured for ME films, demonstrating the efficacy of the ME effect. Effective medium approximation calculations show that absorption enhancement at short wavelengths is partially due to forward scattering, which increases the effective optical path length in PtSi. Results also suggest that ME structuring of substrates is a general and low-cost method to enhance absorption in a variety of IR material platforms used for back-illuminated detectors.

© 2015 Optical Society of America

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