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Datasheet

Sentaurus Device
Optoelectronics

Overview
Sentaurus Device is an advanced device simulator capable of simulating a wide range of semiconductor
devices. It includes state-of-the-art numeric solvers and a comprehensive set of models for carrier and heat
transport, quantization effects, and heterostructures. Two optional modules extend these capabilities to address
the simulation needs of optoelectronic devices. The Opto option supports the simulation of light-emitting
devices with advanced band structure and gain calculations. The EMW option allows full-wave solutions of the
Maxwell equations to account for physical optics in advanced devices.

These advanced capabilities make Sentaurus Device the ideal tool to simulate modern optoelectronic devices
such as CMOS image sensors, charge-coupled devices, solar cells, photodiodes, light-emitting diodes, and
various types of laser such as vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs), and distributed feedback (DFB)
and Fabry–Perot edge-emitting lasers. Users can generate complex 2D and 3D device structures and obtain
self-consistent optoelectrothermal solutions, thereby gaining key insights into device design and operation.

Sentaurus Device is part of the comprehensive suite of Synopsys


TCAD products for multidimensional process, device, and
system simulation, for exploring and optimizing semiconductor
technologies in a cost-effective and time-efficient manner. It
interfaces with Sentaurus Process and Sentaurus Structure
Editor for generating device structures, and Sentaurus
Workbench for visualizing and managing simulation projects.

Benefits
• Explore new device concepts
• Characterize electrical, thermal, and optical behavior for fast
prototyping, development, and performance optimization
• Study sensitivity of device characteristics to process variation
for optimizing parametric yield
• Improve failure analysis

Key Application Areas


• Image sensors
• Solar cells
• Photodiodes
• Light-emitting diodes
• Lasers: edge-emitting lasers and VCSELs Figure 1: Three-dimensional model of a CMOS image sensor cell showing
(left) the carrier generation rate under operation conditions and (right) the
electric field amplitude of the impinging light.

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Sentaurus Device Optoelectronics

6
RESET
5

Voltage [V]
3 DARK

2
ILLUMINATED
1

0
5e-05 0.0001
Time [s]

Figure 2: (Left) Four-pixel structure used


for TCAD simulation of CMOS image
sensors, (upper right) transient voltage
response from device simulation of one
pixel for dark and illuminated conditions,
and (lower right) steady-state absolute
optical field inside a 2D cross section of
the device for an obliquely incident plane
wave.

Image Sensors Optical Solvers


Continued scaling of CMOS technologies and the drive to • 1D transfer matrix method
decrease pixel size have made the design of CMOS image • 2D and 3D raytracing with multilayer antireflection model
sensors increasingly complex. TCAD plays a significant role in the • 2D and 3D beam propagation method
design of image sensors by allowing scientists and engineers to • 2D and 3D parallelized finite-difference time-domain (FDTD)
simulate critical aspects of the process and device design. solver
• Different meshes for optics and electrical transport to
Standard CMOS process steps such as silicidation can have an optimize simulation speed
adverse impact on image sensor photosensitivity. Therefore, it
is often necessary to optimize the process flow to tailor specific Specific Physics
image sensor performance targets, a task for which TCAD is • Industry and process-calibrated silicon data
ideally suited. • Direct interface to the Sentaurus Process simulator
• Advanced generation and recombination models
As pixels in modern image sensors are of comparable dimension
to the wavelength of light, diffraction, polarization, and
Focused Results
interference effects become important, requiring full-wave optical
• Doping profile optimization
simulation. Moreover, by combining multiple pixels into a single
• Lens and geometry optimization
simulation, optical and electrical crosstalk for normal and oblique
• Crosstalk and pixel vignetting analysis
incidence can be analyzed.
• Spectral responsivity
• Charge-voltage conversion, saturation effects
When a TCAD model of the image sensor is developed, the effect
• Capacitance extraction
of manufacturing tolerances on sensor performance, such as lens
• Dark and light I–V analysis
misalignment, can be quantified in ways that are impractical or
• Electrical AC and transient responses
even impossible without simulation.
• Internal and external quantum efficiencies
In summary, Sentaurus Device supports image sensor design
from concept to manufacturing, leading to higher performance
products and shorter time-to-market.

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Sentaurus Device Optoelectronics

100

80

EQE, IQE [%]


60

40
IQE
20 EQE

0
400 600 800 1000
Wavelength [nm]

Figure 4: Internal quantum efficiency and


external quantum efficiency for a silicon
solar cell.

Figure 5: Parallel coordinate plot of process compact


Optical Generation
1.0e+21 model describing main solar cell characteristics for
1.0e+20 parameter variation of substrate thickness, back-contact
1.0e+19 Figure 3: Three-dimensional model of an width, and back-surface recombination velocity. Each line
1.0e+18 inverted pyramid structure on a solar cell corresponds to one experiment.
1.0e+17
showing (lines) the raytracing results and
1.0e+16
(contour) the optical generation rate.

Solar Cells Optical Solvers


Optimizing the efficiency of a solar cell is a major challenge • 1D transfer matrix method
wherein simulation is a powerful tool for quantifying and • 2D and 3D raytracing with multilayer antireflection model
minimizing the losses that limit cell efficiency. This is made • 2D and 3D beam propagation method
possible by the advanced electrical and optical models of • 2D and 3D parallelized FDTD solver
Sentaurus Device. • Different meshes for optics and electrical transport to
optimize simulation speed
The wide-ranging capabilities in Sentaurus Device have been
successfully demonstrated in numerous publications addressing Specific Physics
various types of solar cell including monocrystalline silicon, • Combine device simulation with process modeling,
multicrystalline silicon, and thin films using II–VI and III–V considering diffusion and gettering effects
compound semiconductors. TCAD simulations allow designers • Wavelength-dependent optical properties
to gain physical insights into solar cell operation, from carrier • Spectral optical generation
transport and recombination in the grain boundaries of CIGS and • Support for compound materials and heterostructures
CdTe cells to optimization of the epitaxial layers in multijunction
high-efficiency cells for concentrator systems. Focused Results
• Compute illuminated and dark I–V characteristics
To date, the application of TCAD to solar cells has focused
• Extract internal and external quantum efficiencies
on device simulation. Yet, there is a vast body of knowledge in
• Optimize reflection spectra
process simulation of CMOS technologies that is applicable to
• Investigate perimeter losses
the process optimization of photovoltaic technologies. Detailed
• Maximize light trapping
process models including diffusion and gettering effects
• Examine arbitrary 3D textures
can track the evolution of doping and lifetime profiles during
fabrication using Sentaurus Process, resulting in realistic process
structures for electrical analysis in Sentaurus Device.

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Sentaurus Device Optoelectronics

100
91
82
73
AR Coating
64

Area
55
46
37

Annular Contact 28
19
10
0.5 0.65 0.8 0.95 1.1 1.25 1.4 1.55 1.7 1.85 2
Thickness

0.5 10
-5
Noncoherent Optical Model 150 K Figure 6: (Upper left) Typical mesa structure
Coherent Optical Model -6 140 K
10 130 K used for InGaAs/InP TCAD simulation, (upper
0.4 120 K
110 K
Responsivity [A/W]

-7
10 right) responsivity–band width ‘process
100 K
Current [A]

0.3
10
-8
90 K window’ derived from geometry (area,
-9
80 K depletion region thickness) variation in a
0.2 10
70 K vertical photodiode, (lower left) illustration of
-10
10
60 K the effect of coherent optics on responsivity in
0.1
-11
10 submicron photodiodes, and (lower right) dark
0 10
-12 current variation as a function of temperature
5e-07 1e-06 0.2 0.4 0.6 0.8 1
Wavelength [m] Reverse Bias [V] in HgCdTe photodiodes.

Photodiodes Specific Physics


The three major device characteristics of photodiodes are • Combine device simulation with process modeling for CMOS
spectral responsivity, dark current, and band width. Accurate photodiodes
optical models are required to describe spectral responsivity, • Spectral optical generation
which exhibits full-wave (coherent) effects in submicron • Wavelength-dependent optical properties
structures. Analysis of the different sources of dark current is • Support for compound materials and heterostructures
often a crucial task in photodiode design. The band width of • Accurate temperature-dependent models for band gap,
a photodiode is determined by the transient carrier transport. mobilities, and tunneling for HgCdTe photodiodes
A comprehensive simulation approach based on TCAD, • Calibrated drift-diffusion model for InGaAs/InP photodiodes
which incorporates optical, thermal, and electrical aspects of
transport, is crucial for the analysis and design of state-of-the-art Focused Results
photodiode devices. • Compute illuminated and dark I–V characteristics
• Optimize spectral responsivity
Optical Solvers • Extract reflection spectra
• 1D transfer matrix method • Investigate perimeter losses
• 2D and 3D raytracing with multilayer antireflection model • Investigate temperature dependence of dark current
• 2D and 3D beam propagation method (especially for HgCdTe)
• 2D and 3D parallelized FDTD solver • Simulate pulse response and extract the band width

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Sentaurus Device Optoelectronics

External
Reflector

Figure 8: Special reflective boundary condition can be attached to arbitrary surfaces


to model external optics: (left) corresponding raytree of (right) ATON-like 3D structure
with external spherical reflector.

Figure 7: Major design parameters such as (top)


temperature distribution and (bottom) current paths Figure 9: Complex structures can be
can be investigated easily. generated using Sentaurus Structure
Editor; a truncated pyramid structure
with a dome lens is shown.

Light-Emitting Diodes Specific Physics


The relatively large dimensions of light-emitting diodes (LEDs), • Advanced physical models for photon recycling, including
typically in the millimeter range, motivate the use of efficient amplified spontaneous emission and spontaneous spectrum
raytracing models for the optical problem. Given the complex incorporated within raytracing
geometry of modern-day LEDs, it is essential that the interaction • Carrier density, wavelength-dependent, and temperature-
between the optics and carrier transport is carried out in 2D dependent refractive index model
or 3D self-consistently: The carrier transport provides the light • Advanced carrier capture physics in quantum wells (QWs)
emission source to be used in raytracing, while raytracing gives • Different gain tables for different QWs in multiple–quantum
a photon-recycling recombination rate to be fed back into the well devices (see page 7)
carrier transport.
Focused Results
Optical Solvers • Light power versus current
• 2D and 3D raytracing with multilayer antireflection model • LED far-field radiation pattern design
• Flexible boundary condition in raytracing to define packaging • Spectrum output design
components • Extraction efficiency optimization
• Different meshes for optics and electrical transport to optimize • Internal quantum efficiency optimization
speed of simulation • Current spreading optimization
• Geometry and electrical contact design optimization
• Thermal analysis and management
• Electrostatic discharge (ESD) simulation

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Sentaurus Device Optoelectronics

-90

-95 I = Ith + 0.25 mA

Relative Intensity Noise [dB/Hz]


-100 I = Ith + 1.25 mA
-105
I = Ith + 2.25 mA
-110

-115

-120

-125

-130
Simulation
-135 Measurement
Figure 11: Example of typical laser characteristics for
-140 AlGaAs VCSEL, showing relative intensity noise versus
0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Frequency [GHz] frequency.

Wavelength [nm]
1560
Figure 12: Wavelength map for a widely tunable
1540 sampled-grating distributed Bragg reflector (SGDBR)
Figure 10: Optical intensity profile 0 laser; by tuning front and rear currents of DBR mirrors,
10 0
of fundamental HE11 mode of Re 20 10 the reflection peak and, therefore, lasing wavelength
ar 20
Mi 30 30
an oxide-confined vertical-cavity rro 40 mA] can be tuned in large discrete steps or in a fine
r [m 40 50 ror [
50 60 t Mir
surface-emitting laser (VCSEL). A] Fron continuous way.

Lasers Specific Physics


The physics of semiconductor lasers is very complex due to • Coupled multiple lasing modes
the strong interaction between the light field and the charge • Efficient link to the advanced band structure and gain
carriers. Sentaurus Device addresses the two key factors for calculation module (see page 7)
successful simulation of semiconductor devices: (a) the use • Different gain tables for different QWs in multiple–quantum
of comprehensive physical models for optical effects, carrier well devices (see page 7)
transport, self-heating, gain, and band structure calculation, and • Fully self-consistent solution of optics, electronic transport,
(b) the robust and self-consistent numeric coupling of all models, self-heating, and band structure calculation
which allows fast and accurate simulations. • Comprehensive free carrier absorption models
• Carrier density, wavelength-dependent, and temperature-
Combined with the flexible structure-editing tool Sentaurus dependent refractive index model
Structure Editor, the advanced models and numeric solvers
in Sentaurus Device enable the simulation of various lasers Focused Results
such as VCSELs, and distributed feedback and Fabry–Perot • Light–current–voltage (L–I–V) curves
edge-emitting lasers (EELs) in 2D and 3D. These simulations • Power spectrum
can be used for yield analysis with Sentaurus TFM, thereby • Mode competition analysis
providing users with a complete Design for Manufacturing (DFM) • Leaky waveguide laser design
environment. • Multiple QWs and gain design
• Internal quantum efficiency optimization
Optical Solvers
• Wavelength tuning
• Scalar finite-element method (for EELs)
• Near-field and far-field design
• Vectorial finite-element method (for EELs and VCSELs)
• Spatial hole-burning
• Effective index method (for VCSELs)
• Self-heating and thermal rollover analysis
• Transfer matrix method (for VCSELs)
• Thermal management and reduction of hot spots
• Different meshes for optics and electrical transport to optimize
• Transient simulation
speed of simulation
• Small-signal modulation response
• Relative intensity noise analysis
• Line-width broadening

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Sentaurus Device Optoelectronics

50 Conduction Band
0
Simulation
40 Experiment
Modal Gain [cm-1]

30 -1

Energy [eV]
Electron Wave
No Piezo Charge
20 Piezo Charge = 5e13
-2
10
Heavy Hole Wave
0
-3
Valence Band
-10
2.95 3 3.05 1e-08 1.5e-08
Energy [eV] Vertical Position [m]

Figure 13: Modal gain versus transmission energy for a laser device with Figure 14: Band diagrams and wavefunctions of an InGaN/GaN
InGaN/GaN quantum wells. quantum well (red) with and (blue) without piezoelectric charges at
the quantum well interfaces; piezoelectric charges lead to tilting of
the quantum well, resulting in separation of wavefunctions, thereby
reducing their overlap integrals and the stimulated emission rate.

Advanced Band Structure and Gain Calculation Specific Physics


For LED and laser applications, an accurate model of the • Advanced 4x4, 6x6, and 8x8 k.p model for QW zinc-blende
optical emission process is crucially important for successful and wurtzite band structure and gain calculations
simulations. In particular, photoluminescence, absorption, • Piezoelectric charge modeling and screening for strained
material gain, and spontaneous emission are key elements that GaN QWs
determine the performance of active devices. The calculation of • Manybody effects in gain based on free carrier theory
these processes requires the use of accurate electronic band (FCT), screened Hartree–Fock (SHF), or second Born
structures and comprehensive emission models. approximation
• Lorentzian, Landsberg, and hyperbolic cosine gain-
Sentaurus Device includes both an advanced k.p band broadening models for FCT and SHF approximations
structure calculation and a gain model based on state-of-the-art
quantum-mechanical manybody theory, allowing users to predict Focused Results
accurately the optical properties of an active material. Depending • Material gain spectra
on the approximation chosen by the user, no specification of • Spontaneous emission spectra
phenomenological parameters is necessary for calculating the • Absorption spectra
line-shape broadening and the charge-carrier dephasing rates. • Electron and hole wavefunctions
• Calibration of Hakki–Paoli gain measurements
• Designing gain spectra of multiple–quantum well devices
• Generation of gain tables depending on carrier densities,
energy, and temperature

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Sentaurus Device Optoelectronics

Figure 15: Total current density distribution resulting from coupled optoelectrothermal simulation of three-section
distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) laser. The distribution shows strong inhomogeneities caused by the electronic
isolation channels between the gain (front), phase (middle), and grating (rear) sections. For more realistic
thermodynamic modeling, the translucent beige region has been added to the electrothermal simulation domain.

For more information about Sentaurus Device and other


Synopsys TCAD products and services, go to
www.synopsys.com/products/tcad/tcad.html, or contact
your local Synopsys representative, or email
tcad_team@synopsys.com.

Synopsys, Inc.
700 East Middlefield Road
Mountain View, CA 94043
www.synopsys.com

Copyright © 2006 Synopsys, Inc. Synopsys and the Synopsys logo are registered trademarks of Synopsys, Inc. All other products or service names mentioned herein are trademarks of their respective
holders and should be treated as such. Printed in the U.S.A. 09/06.DP.06-14355

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