Superlattice barrier HgCdTe nBn infrared photodetectors: validation of the effective mass approximation

Nima Dehdashti Akhavan, Gilberto A. Umana-Membreno, Renjie Gu, Mohsen Asadnia, Jarek Antoszewski, Lorenzo Faraone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Implementation of the unipolar barrier detector concept in HgCdTe-based compound semiconductor alloys is a challenging problem, primarily because practical lattice-matched materials that can be employed as the wide bandgap barrier layer in HgCdTe nBn structures present a significant valence band offset at the n-type/barrier interface, thus impeding the free flow of photogenerated minority carriers. However, it is possible to minimize the valence band offset by replacing the bulk HgCdTe alloy-based barrier with a CdTe-HgTe superlattice barrier structure. In this paper, an 8× 8 k.p Hamiltonian combined with the nonequilibrium Green's function formalism has been employed to numerically demonstrate that the single-band effective mass approximation is an adequate numerical approach, which is valid for the modeling, design, and optimization of band alignment and carrier transport in HgCdTe-based nBn detectors incorporating a wide bandgap superlattice barrier.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7600372
Pages (from-to)4811-4818
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Transactions on Electron Devices
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2016
Externally publishedYes


  • 8× 8 k.p
  • infrared (IR)
  • mercury cadmium telluride (HgCdTe)
  • nBn detector
  • nonequilibrium Green's function (NEGF)
  • numerical simulation
  • unipolar barrier


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