The effects of impact ionization in the InGaAs absorption layer on the multiplication, excess noise and breakdown voltage are modeled for avalanche photodiodes (APDs), both with InP and with InAlAs multiplication regions. The calculations allow for dead space effects and for the low field electron ionization observed in InGaAs. The results confirm that impact ionization in the InGaAs absorption layer increases the excess noise in InP APDs and that the effect imposes tight constraints on the doping of the charge control layer if avalanche noise is to be minimized. However, the excess noise of InAlAs APDs is predicted to be reduced by impact ionization in the InGaAs layer. Furthermore the breakdown voltage of InAlAs APDs is less sensitive to ionization in the InGaAs layer and these results increase tolerance to doping variations in the field control layer
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