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PROC. 21st INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MICROELECTRONICS (MIEL'97), NIŠ, SERBIA, 14-17 SEPTEMBER, 1997

Dispersion of Refractive Index in Degenerate Mercury Cadmium Telluride

Zoran Jakšić, Olga Jakšić

Abstract – The work presents an approximate expression for refractive index of mercury cadmium telluride (Hg 1-x Cd x Te) applicable to both intrinsic and degenerate material. The relation is applicable for cadmium mole fractions x=0.165-1 at 300 K and 0.165-0.54 at 77 K and electron concentrations up to 10 17 cm 3 . The results are compared to available experi- mental data and to the results of calculation using Kramers- Kronig relation. A unified expression for interband absorp- tion coefficient based on the Kane three-band model was used in the calculation, whilst the Urbach band-tailing and the electron-electron interaction were also taken into account.

I. INTRODUCTION

Due to the possibility to engineer its bandgap, mercury cadmium telluride (Hg 1-x Cd x Te, MCT) is today surely the most important semiconductor material for detection in long wavelength infrared range [1]. The dispersion of refractive index is one of its most important properties determining behavior of optoelectronic devices fabricated in it. It is especially important to know the refractive index near the fundamental absorption edge. A number of authors handled the dispersion of refractive index in mercury cadmium telluride single crystals [2-4]. Its value was usually determined by the interference in transmission spectroscopy, by the multioscillator model or using the Kramers-Kronig relation. The most exhaustive model based on quantum mechanical approach was pro- posed by Jensen and Torabi [4]. The authors of [3] point out that the refractive index calculated according to [4] decreases much quicker than observed in recent experi- mental results, the probable reason for this being the chosen set of calculation parameters. Therefore various empirical relations are used today [1-3]. The most accurate expression to date for the dispersion relation of refractive index of MCT was reported by Liu, Chu and Tang [3]. They used the Kramers-Kronig relation to handle their enormous body of experimental data obtained by intrinsic absorption spectroscopy and to furnish an empirical formula. Their expression is applicable in the range 0.276<x<0.443 and at temperatures from 4.2 to 300 K. At room temperature it is valid for

0.205<x<1.

To the best of the authors knowledge, none of the empi- rical expressions on refractive index of MCT reported until now was applicable for the case of degenerate MCT.

Authors are with IHTM – Institute of Microelectronic Techno- logies and Single Crystals, Njegoševa 12, Belgrade University, 11000 Belgrade, Yugoslavia, fax (++381 11 182 995), e-mail

jaksa@hf01.chem.bg.ac.yu

0-7803-3664-X/97/$10.00 © 1997 IEEE

In this work we propose a simple empirical relationship for refractive index dispersion in dependence on bandgap energy, temperature, infrared radiation wavelength and car- rier concentration. The expression is valid both in nonde- generate and in degenerate case.

II. THEORY

There are several mechanisms determining the optical behaviour of mercury cadmium telluride single crystals. The whole wavelength region is usually divided into three regions, depending on the prevailing mechanism of optical processes [5]. The short-wavelength part corresponds to the absorption transitions in near ultraviolet (UV); the middle part, which is the most important for our calculation, stems from interband transitions near the cutoff energy (CO), while the low-frequency part, in the far infrared region, is connected with the free-carrier absorption (FC). It is known that the contributions to the absorption coefficient from various mechanisms are additive. Therefore the total absorption coefficient (α tot ) may be written as follows:

(1)

α tot =α UV +α CO +α FC

The term corresponding to the short-wavelength range (UV) is usually determined by simple extrapolation of the absorption coefficient in the (CO) range within the log(λ)~λ coordinate system [3, 6]. The well-known Kramers-Kronig relation [6] may be used to furnish a dependence between the real part of the refractive index and the absorption coefficient

n

(

ω

0

)

=

1

+

c

0

(

α ω

)

2

ω

2

2

0

ω

d ω

(2)

Because of the linearity of the integrand in the Kramers- Kronig relation, the above expression can be regarded as a sum of two independent contributions, one off them caused by the interband transitions and comprising the terms (CO) and (UV), while the other is the result of the free-carrier absorption (FC),

n=n interband +n FC

(3)

Let us consider first the interband part of the refractive coefficient. We use our modification of the empirical ex- pression for refractive index in the interband range, which was obtained in [3] by applying the Kramers-Kronig relation to experimental absorption data

95

n

interband =

where the coefficients are

A 2 A + 1 22 2 1 − A h ω 3
A
2
A
+
1
22
2
1
− A
h
ω
3

(4)

validity, typically about 10 17 cm 3 . However, as shown by

experiments, the expression is often used beyond its

validity range [9,11] without a marked loss of the accuracy. The second mechanism of the bandgap decrease is the Coulomb interaction between electrons and impurities in

A 1 = 5.37941 0.00343

A

2

=

0.8915

8.5 10

T

+

4

T

(

+

+

10

4

~ degenerate semiconductor [9]

T

)

T e

e

~

E

g

)

E

g

(5)

E

imp

=

6.65569 + 0.00492

(

0.14027

π

h

2

⎞ ⎟ ⎟ ⎠ ⎜ ⎛ ⎜ ⎝

1

⎛ ⎜

1

2

Φ

 

3

m

*

0

⎜ ⎝

E

g

4/3

1/3

⎟ ⎞

n

2/3

(9)

A

3

= −

3.712

0.00956

T

+

(1.8334

+

0.004463 T )

~

E

g where the third bracket takes into account the influence of

~

E

g

nonparabolicity of the conduction band for strong degeneracy of carriers. We calculated the term Φ/E g by applying a formalism similar to that in [9], but using the Moss-Burstein bandfilling factor instead of the Fermi level. In this manner we avoided the introduction of an additional fitting parameter into (9) which was used in [9]. The final expression for the nonparabolicity correction is

Φ

4 E

MB

m

*

0

=

E

g

(

3

π

2

)

2 /3

h

2

n

2/ 3

1

(10)

In (9) and (10) m 0 * is the effective mass at the bottom of the conduction band and may be written as [1]

m *

e

E

g

+ ∆

+

2

/ E

g

= 0 7168 3

.

m

0

(11)

+

(6.797

+

0.0115 )

T

e

where

The influence of mechanisms appearing in degenerate semiconductor was taken into account by introducing an effective bandgap energy in a manner which represents a generalization of that described in [7]. The effective bandgap is obtained as a sum of the fundamental bandgap energy E g and the terms corresponding to the bandgap shift due to the Moss-Burstein bandfilling, electron-electron interaction and electron-impurities interaction. The term corresponding to the Moss-Burstein bandfilling was calculated according to Scacham and Finkman [2] as the photon energy for which the intrinsic absorption coefficient of MCT reached 500 cm -1 (the optical bandgap). To this purpose we utilized our unified model of interband absorption coefficient in mercury cadmium telluride [8] which takes into account the nonparabolicity of bands and effects of carrier degeneration, as well as the Urbach band tailing for energies below the cutoff. We obtained the following approximate dependence of the Moss-Burstein bandfilling factor on cadmium molar fraction x, temperature T (in K) and electron concentration n e (in cm 3 ) [7]

~

E g =E g [eV]/eV and sample temperature T is in K.

where we used the spin split-off energy value =0.9 eV and the Kane’s matrix element P=810 -10 eVm. The value m 0 denotes the free-electron mass. It should be noted that in (8, 9) and in our model of the absorption coefficient we applied the expression for the high-frequency dielectric permittivity in nondegenerate semiconductor, as reported in [1]. It is given as ε =19–11x and we used it as a fitting parameter independent on

ξ temperature and carrier concentration in order to avoid a

)

1 x

=

E

(

eV

7.85 10

n

e

MB

2

18

e

0.002 T

(6)

,

self-consistent numerical procedure.

We used Hansen’s expression for bandgap energy [12]

ξ=

0 63

x

+

38 10

4

T

+

0 294

.

,

(7)

Injected carriers decrease the bandgap due to two main mechanisms. One of them is electron-electron interaction (exchange energy). We used the following expression

[9,10]

E

el

(

eV

) = ⎜

e

0

ε

r

3

π ⎠

⎞ ⎟ ⎜

2 πε

1 3

/

n

1 3

/

e

.

(8)

E g =− 0 302

.

0 81

.

x

+

2

193

.

x

+

+

0 832

.

535 10

.

3

x

4

()

Tx

1

2

(12)

where T is temperature in K and x is Cd mole fraction in Hg 1x Cd x Te. The bandgap energy is obtained in eV.

The effective bandgap is finally calculated as

E

g eff

=− ∆

EE

g

MB

− ∆∆−

EE

el

imp

(13)

where the exchange energy is obtained in eV if all the factors are given in SI units. Strictly speaking, the above expression is applicable only if the ratio between the mean distance between carriers and the Bohr radius for electrons in the crystal is larger than 1, i.e. there is an upper electron concentration limit for its

By introducing (13) instead of E g into (4, 5) we obtain an approximate expression for the dispersion of refractive index due to interband transitions which takes into account bandgap shift caused by increased carrier concentration, i. e. valid both in nondegenerate and in degenerate case:

96

=

{

5.379

8.5 10

3.71

0.0115

~

0.00343

T

+

4

T

+

(

0.14

+

6.655

+

0.00492

10

4

)

T e

~

E

geff

T

)

0.0095

T

e

~

E

geff

2

+

(1.833

1

1/ 2

[

The Cauchy principal value of the Kramers-Kronig inte-

gral (2) is determined according to [15]. For carrier

concentrations below 10 17 cm 3 the FC absorption causes a ⎦ ⎥

faster decrease of refractive index with wavelength far in

the longwave region, while the changes in the CO part remain negligible. Thus we conclude that for most of the

MCT photonic devices the expression (14) can be regarded

as a relatively valid approximation for the total refractive

index in the limited range near the absorption edge and for moderate dopings.

]

T e

E

geff

geff

n

+

×

+

interband

[ 1

0.8915

h

2

ω

2

(

(6.797

+

+

0.00446

T

)

~

E

(14)

where

in eV. The next mechanism of influence to be considered is the free carrier absorption. The wavelength dependence of the absorption coefficient in the FC region may be written as

[13]

~

E geff is dimensionless and equal to the value of E geff

III. RESULTS AND DISCUSSION

Figure 1 shows the spectral dependence of refractive in- dex at room temperature for different values of x in the case of nondegenerate semiconductor at room temperature.

The peaks on the left side of the diagram correspond to the energies equal to the optical bandgaps for given compositions. The approximation (14) is compared to the experimental data published in [3] and to the results of Kramers-Kronig analysis presented in the same paper.

4.0 0.165 3.5 0.205 0.33 0.416 3.0 0.7 1 2.5 0 5 10 15 20
4.0
0.165
3.5
0.205
0.33
0.416
3.0
0.7
1
2.5
0 5
10
15
20
Refractive index

Wavelength, µm

Fig. 1 The refractive index dispersion near the bandgap for dif-

ferent cadmium molar fractions x (0.165; 0.2; 0.33; 0.416; 0.7; 1) of mercury cadmium telluride at 300 K in nonde- generate case (solid lines). Circles denote experimental data according to [3] and triangles according to [17], both for x=0.205 and 1. Dashed lines are the results of application of Kramers-Kronig relation for x=0.205 and 1 [3]. The x- marks denote our experimental values for x=0.205.

To check the validity of the expression (14) we compared it with the results of calculation using the Kramers-Kronig relation published in [3], with experiments in [3] and [17] and with our own experimental results. Our samples were grown by open tube isothermal vapor-phase epitaxy and their transmission characteristics were measured on the Specord IR-75 spectrophotometer in the range 2.5 to 25 µm at 293 K. The total absorption coefficient for an epilayer was determined as the mean value through the whole layer, i. e. the integral of α(x)dx divided it by the total layer thickness. In our calculation of α from transmission we took into account the multiple reflections

α FC

=

(

δ

v

1

v

2

+ δ

v

1

)P

+ δ

nn

N

(15)

where δ v1v2 is the cross-section for the intervalence band transitions between heavy and light hole band, calculated according to the Kane model. δ v1 is the cross-section for intraband hole transitions [13, 14]. P, N are hole and electron concentrations, respectively. The term δ nn describes free-electron absorption by various scattering mechanisms, and is equal to the sum of the cross-sections for scattering on ionized impurities (I), polar optical phonons (OP) and deformational potential (DEF) of the acoustical and optical phonons [14]:

δ OP

δ DEF

=

6 e N I 7 / 2 δ = λ I 4 *3 9 h
6
e
N
I
7 / 2
δ
=
λ
I
4 *3
9
h
ε
ε
s m
0 c
4
(
1
1
)
e
ω
χ
ε
ε
LO
OP
s
λ 5/ 2
=
*
3
7
h
ε
m
c
0 π
s
2
*
e
m
0
2
D 2
h 2
Ξ u
+
3
5
5
ρ
ε
π
c
h
v II
ω TO
⎦ ⎥

λ 3/ 2

(16)

(17)

(18)

where ε s =20.5–15.5x+5.7x 2 [16] and ε (given above) are static and high-frequency dielectric permittivity of undoped material, N I is the concentration of the scattering ions, ρ=8.0756-2.2571x g/cm 3 [16] is MCT density at 300 K, D=14.8 eV [14] is the constant of deformation potential for optical phonons, Ξ u =14 eV [13] is the constant of deformation potential, v II =3000 m/s [13] is the longitudinal sound velocity in MCT. The values of the other parameters are taken from [14]. In the 10-25µm range the FC absorption coefficient has the characteristic shape α∼λ r , where r2 for p-type MCT at 300 K, and 0 for p-type at 77 K. The main mechanisms in this case are the intervalence (light hole-heavy hole) band transitions and intraband (heavy holes) absorption. For n- type semiconductor r3, and the prevailing mechanism is the scattering of electrons on optical phonons.

97

at the sample interfaces as described in [13] and used the value R=31% for reflection coefficient of MCT for composition x=0.205 [14]. The carrier concentration was determined by the Hall measurement. We used two samples 30 µm and 33 µm thick, for both of which we obtained x=0.198 using (13). Their hole concentration was P=10 16 cm 3 . The longwave part of both the absorption characteristics had the typical λ r shape, with r=2, which is in agreement with [13]. Our values of refractive index were slightly higher than 3.5, as shown by x marks in Fig. 1. Thus we conclude that the use of (14) was justified for our samples.

4.0 3.9 10 13 cm –3 3.8 3.7 10 15 cm –3 3.6 3.5 10
4.0
3.9
10 13 cm –3
3.8
3.7
10 15 cm –3
3.6
3.5
10 17 cm –3
3.4
10 18 cm –3
3.3
10 19 cm –3
3.2
0
5
10
15
20
Refractive Index

Wavelength, µm

Fig. 2 Influence of degeneration to the refractive index dispersion around the bandgap for mercury cadmium telluride. T=77K,

x=0.2.

The refractive index calculated for different electron concentrations according to (11) at T=77K and for x=0.2 is shown in Fig. 2. As expected, for larger degenerations the refractive index peak moves toward shorter wavelengths, while the decrease is faster in the whole range compared to the undoped case.

IV. CONCLUSION

We investigated the behavior of refractive index in mercury cadmium telluride taking into account the effects of increased doping. We proposed an approximation taking into account the effects of temperature, composition and carrier concentration influence. The relation is applicable for cadmium mole fractions x=0.165-1 at 300 K and 0.165- 0.54 at 77 K and electron concentrations up to 10 17 cm 3 . We compared the approximation with experimental and theoretical values.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

The authors wish to thank Prof. Z. Djuric for stimulating discussions and Dr. Z. Djinovic for doped HgCdTe samples.

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