Part of the book: Photodetectors
Silicon technologies provide an excellent platform in order to realize microsystems where photonic and microelectronic functionalities are monolithically integrated on the same substrate. In recent years, a lot of passive and active silicon photonic devices have been optimized to work at telecom wavelengths where, unfortunately, silicon has a neglectable optical absorption due to its bandgap of 1.12 eV. Although silicon cannot detect wavelengths above 1.1 μm, in recent years, tremendous advances have been made in order to make it suitable for operation in the near-infrared spectrum. One of the approaches is to take advantage of the internal photoemission effect through a Schottky junction where a metal absorbs the incoming radiation and emits hot carriers into silicon making sub-bandgap detection possible. The present chapter describes the more recent advances in the field of the silicon photodetectors based on the internal photoemission effect showing as devices based on new emerging materials and complex nanostructure are leading this family of device to compare favorably with the well-established technologies commonly used for telecom wavelengths based on germanium and III–V semiconductors.
Part of the book: New Research on Silicon