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Modeling High-Current Photodetectors

Curtis Menyuk, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering
Yue Hu, Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering


The nonlinear response of high-current photodetectors plays an important role in limiting the performance of RF-photonic devices.  Yet, the physical reasons for this nonlinear response remain poorly understood, and the only comprehensive simulations of this effect were carried out almost a decade ago when the computational tools and computers were far less powerful than they are now. In particular, almost all prior work used a simple one-dimensional model of the photodetector, which ignored the radial dependence of the light beam. We are intending to carry out work in which we solve the drift-diffusion equations, taking into account radial effects for a high-current p-i-n photodetector using finite-difference methods.  We will be carrying out this work in collaboration with experimental researchers at the Naval Research Laboratory.