Black-silicon ultraviolet photodiodes achieve external quantum efficiency above 130%

Moises Garin, Juha Heinonen, Lutz Werner, Toni Pasanen, Ville Vähänissi, Antti Haarahiltunen, M. Juntunen, Hele Savin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)
181 Downloads (Pure)


At present ultraviolet sensors are utilized in numerous fields ranging from various spectroscopy applications via biotechnical innovations to industrial process control. Despite of this, the performance of current UV sensors is surprisingly poor. Here, we break the theoretical one photon - one electron barrier and demonstrate a device with a certified external quantum efficiency (EQE) above 130 external amplification. The record high performance is obtained using a nanostructured silicon photodiode with self-induced junction. We show that the high efficiency is based on effective utilization of multiple carrier generation by impact ionization taking place in the nanostructures. While the results can readily have a significant impact on the UV-sensor industry, the underlying technological concept can be applied to other semiconductor materials, thereby extending above unity response to longer wavelengths and offering new perspectives for improving efficiencies beyond the Shockley-Queisser limit.
Original languageEnglish
Article number117702
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review Letters
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 8 Sep 2020
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


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