Indium phosphide (InP) optoelectronic-switch structures are shown to be fast broadband photon detectors having a spectral response extending from the near IR to the x-ray region. These InP switches, similar to the original Si devices made by Auston,1 have been shown to have high sensitivity in the 500-800-nm spectral region.2,3 The pulse response is ~1 nsec for the devices made as described below but can be <100-psec FWHM with appropriate fabrication.2,4 Because these devices are based on surface photoconductivity and because the surface recombination velocity for electrons can be small in InP, the useful spectral range would be expected to extend to photon energies many times the band gap energy of InP. In addition, the high Z number of InP suggests that these devices should also be sensitive x-ray detectors.

© 1982 Optical Society of America

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