A family of silicon avalanche photodiodes with an n⁺-p -π-p⁺ epiplanar structure was developed at the Institute of Electron Technology (ITE). The diameters of photosensitive area range from 0.3 mm to 5 mm. These photodiodes are optimised for detection of 800–850 nm radiation and in that range achieve excellent parameters – high gain, low noise, high detectivity. The detailed research on their spectral dependencies of the gain and noise parameters has revealed that their range of operating is considerable wider and stretches from 550 to 1000 nm. The principles of operation and design considerations concerning avalanche photodiodes are outlined in this paper. Next, the design, technology and properties of silicon avalanche photodiodes developed at the ITE are discussed. Avalanche photodiodes are widely used in detection of very weak and very fast optical signals. Presently in the world, the studies are carried out on applying the avalanche photodiodes in detection of X radiation and in the scintillation detection of nuclear radiation.
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