High-Power and High-Responsivity Avalanche Photodiodes for Self-Heterodyne FMCW Lidar System Applications

Zohauddin Ahmad, Yan Min Liao, Sheng I. Kuo, You-Chia Chang, Rui Lin Chao, Naseem, Yi Shan Lee, Yung Jr Hung, Huang Ming Chen, Jye-Hong Chen, Jiun-In Guo, Jin Wei Shi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


In this work, we demonstrate the high-power and high-responsivity performance of the dual multiplication (M-) layers in In0.52Al0.48As based avalanche photodiode (APD). The dual M-layer design in our APD structure effectively constrains the multiplication process to a thin high-field region rather than the whole thick M-layer. It thus minimizes the space charge effect (SCE) within and avoids increasing the tunneling dark current for the case of directly shrinking M-layer thickness in APD. Furthermore, by combining the specially designed mesa shape with this dual M-layer structure, the edge breakdown can be well suppressed. These benefits lead to an ultra-high gain-bandwidth product (450 GHz; 1 A/W at unit gain) and a high saturation current (>12 mA) can be simultaneously achieved in our device. By nonlinearly driving a wavelength sweeping laser in the self-heterodyne lidar setup, it can generate an optical pulse train-like waveform, providing an effective optical modulation depth of 200% to feed into our demonstrated APD at the receiver-end. Under such scheme, the photo-generated RF (1 GHz) power from our APD with a 6.3 A/W responsivity can be as high as +6.95 dBm at a high (7 mA) output photocurrent. Such high-power and high-responsivity characteristics of our APD can further improve the signal-to-noise (S/N) ratio and dynamic range performances in each pixel of the lidar image. A high-quality 3-dimensional (D) FMCW lidar image is constructed based on our APD, without the integration of any electrical amplifier at the receiver end.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number9453831
Pages (from-to)85661-85671
Number of pages11
JournalIEEE Access
StatePublished - 2021


  • Avalanche photodiodes
  • FMCW lidar


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