UV detectors are important in a variety of contexts, whether they are used in space, spectroscopy, or defense applications. As the demand for UV detectors continues to grow, there is an also an increasing need for better performance in terms of high speed, low noise, and high sensitivity.
ECE Professor Enrico Bellotti, ECE Visiting Scholar Francesco Bertazzi, and Michele Moresco (PhD ’11) have been studying UV detectors – more specifically the physics of GaN Avalanche Photo-Diodes (GaN APDs) and how to improve their efficiency – and their research is garnering attention. Last month at the Numerical Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices 2010 Conference (NUSOD) in Atlanta, Moresco took away the Best Student Paper Award.
“It’s a topic the ECE community is very interested in,” said Moresco after his trip to the conference. “They were excited to see something new in the field.”
What is unique about the research, “A Full Band Monte Carlo Study of Gain, Bandwidth, and Noise in GaN APDs,” is that the high field carrier transport and impact ionization in GaN semiconductor materials has been modeled without using any fitting parameters – a fact that Moresco said other engineers have found “remarkable.”
Moresco has studied at Boston University since 2007 and said that the experience has been great. He’s enjoyed researching with his PhD advisor, Bellotti, who he said has been very easy to work with, and has appreciated the number of opportunities he’s had to publish papers.
“As a researcher, BU has really helped me build a great resume,” said Moresco.
According to Bellotti, this is only the beginning of a larger effort to understand the properties of other semiconductor materials using first-principles modeling approaches.
Added Bellotti: “Dr. Bertazzi and Mr. Moresco have worked together to build a first principle model for GaN material and APDs that is state of the art, and will be used to study not only optoelelctronics devices but also to understand the operating limits of GaN based transistors and power devices.”
-Rachel Harrington (firstname.lastname@example.org)