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It is possible to calculate the expected photoelectric current, or the electron-hole generation rate from the results of the FDTD simulation. This information can then be used to perform electrical modeling of the device.

 

See also

Solar cells

Absorption per unit volume

Related publications

A. Crocherie et al., “From photons to electrons: a complete 3D simulation flow for CMOS image sensor”, IEEE 2009 International Image Sensor Workshop (IISW).

 

 

It is possible to calculate the power flowing into the active region as described at Absorption per unit volume. This can be accomplished most easily by inserting an advanced Power Absorbed object from the Object Library, as shown below.

 

cmos_absorption_per_unit_volume_zoom59

 

This monitor will give the normalized power absorbed per unit volume. For example, two cross sections in the x-z plane at different values of y are shown below.

 

Normalized power absorbed per unit volume at y=+1μm

Normalized power absorbed per unit volume at y=+1μm

 

Normalized power absorbed per unit volume at y=-1μm

Normalized power absorbed per unit volume at y=-1μm

Once the optical power absorbed in the active region is known, it is possible to use the following photo-electric conversion formula to calculate the optical generation rate, G, which is the number of electrons excited per unit volume per unit time, by

 

$$ {G(\vec{r}, \xi)=\frac{P_{a b}(\vec{r}, \omega)}{\hbar \cdot \omega}=\frac{P_{\text {sours }}(\omega)}{\hbar \cdot \omega} \frac{P_{\text {dat }}^{\text {Forp }}(\vec{r}, \omega)}{P_{\text {soure }}(\omega)}} $$

 

where ω=2πf is the angular frequency and h_bar is the reduced Planck's constant. Here we have assumed that each photon is absorbed by exciting an electron-hole, which is an excellent assumption at optical wavelengths in silicon. In situations where this is not a good assumption, a quantum efficiency factor can be included in the above formula.

 

To calculate the generation rate for an real experimental setup, the normalized absorbed power,

$$ {\frac{P_{\text {as }}^{\text {FabTD }}(\vec{r}, \omega)}{P_{\text {sour }}(\omega)}} $$,

which is calculated from the FDTD simulation, should be multiplied by the experimental source power, Psource in Watts. For example, if you are illuminating with a plane wave at an angle, then

$$ {P_{\text {source }}=1 \mathrm{A} \cos (\theta)} $$

where I is the intensity of your source in Watts/m2, A is the pixel area and θ is the angle of incidence.

 

If you are illuminating the device with a broadband source then multiply by

$$ {P_{\text {source }}(\omega)=E_{\text {er }}(\omega) \mathrm{A} \cos (\theta)} $$

where Eev is the spectral irradiance of the source in Watts/m2/Hz, A is the pixel area and θ is the angle of incidence. To get the total generation rate, we then need to integrate G(ω) over the frequency range of the source.

 

We may also integrate over the angle θ to calculate the generation rate for uniform illumination.

 

For details on how this calculation can be used to couple with electrical modeling, please see A. Crocherie et al., “From photons to electrons: a complete 3D simulation flow for CMOS image sensor”, IEEE 2009 International Image Sensor Workshop (IISW).

 

Also, please see the examples at Solar cells, which have the details of similar calculations.

 

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