Impact ionization

Impact ionization is the process in a material by which one energetic charge carrier can lose energy by the creation of other charge carriers. For example, in semiconductors, an electron (or hole) with enough kinetic energy can knock a bound electron out of its bound state (in the valence band) and promote it to a state in the conduction band, creating an electron-hole pair. For carriers to have sufficient kinetic energy a sufficiently large electric field must be applied,[1] in essence requiring a sufficiently large voltage but not necessarily a large current.

If this occurs in a region of high electrical field then it can result in avalanche breakdown. This process is exploited in avalanche diodes, by which a small optical signal is amplified before entering an external electronic circuit. In an avalanche photodiode the original charge carrier is created by the absorption of a photon.

In some sense, impact ionization is the reverse process to Auger recombination.

Avalanche photodiodes (APD) are used in optical receivers before the signal is given to the receiver circuitry the photon is multiplied with the photocurrent and this increases the sensitivity of the receiver since photocurrent is multiplied before encountering of the thermal noise associated with the receiver circuit.

See also


  1. ^ Sze, S.M. (1981). Physics of Semiconductor Devices . John Wiley & Sons. p. 45 . ISBN 0-471-05661-8.

External links

Categories: Semiconductors | Nuclear and atomic physics stubs

Information as of: 15.06.2021 01:50:37 CEST

Source: Wikipedia (Authors [History])    License : CC-BY-SA-3.0

Changes: All pictures and most design elements which are related to those, were removed. Some Icons were replaced by FontAwesome-Icons. Some templates were removed (like “article needs expansion) or assigned (like “hatnotes”). CSS classes were either removed or harmonized.
Wikipedia specific links which do not lead to an article or category (like “Redlinks”, “links to the edit page”, “links to portals”) were removed. Every external link has an additional FontAwesome-Icon. Beside some small changes of design, media-container, maps, navigation-boxes, spoken versions and Geo-microformats were removed.

Please note: Because the given content is automatically taken from Wikipedia at the given point of time, a manual verification was and is not possible. Therefore does not guarantee the accuracy and actuality of the acquired content. If there is an Information which is wrong at the moment or has an inaccurate display please feel free to contact us: email.
See also: Legal Notice & Privacy policy.