The monolithic integration of III–V materials on silicon appears as the most promising, cost-effective, and versatile method for next-generation optoelectronic devices. Here, we report on GaAs metal-semiconductor-metal photodetectors integrated on an Si substrate by metal-organic chemical vapor deposition. The device architecture is based on a GaAs active layer grown on Si via ultrathin, low-temperature Ge buffer layers. The Ge-on-Si acts as a “virtual” substrate to reduce the overall structural defects in the GaAs device layers. The metal-semiconductor junction characteristics were optimized to effectively suppress the dark current and passivate the interface defects. This was achieved through the insertion of an ultrathin Al2O3 interlayer at the metal/GaAs interface. The results show that a Schottky barrier height of 0.62 eV and 0.8 eV for electrons and holes, respectively, can be achieved. Circular devices with diameters ranging from 30 to 140 μm were fabricated. The measured room temperature dark current is ∼48 nA for an applied reverse bias of 1.0 V and a device diameter of 30 μm. Additionally, the GaAs metal-semiconductor-metal structure exhibited a remarkable photoresponsivity and detectivity values of (0.54 ± 0.15) A/W and ∼4.6 × 1010 cm Hz1/2 W−1 at 5 V reverse bias, 850 nm, respectively. The proposed method offers great potential for the monolithic integration of GaAs on an Si platform. Furthermore, this technique can be extended to other III–V materials and lattice mismatched systems for high-performance multiple band optoelectronics.

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