Most of actual photonic devices being sensitive in the visible (VIS) spectrum are based on crystalline silicon (x-Si). The production of x-Si requires an expensive high temperature process. The color reproduction with x-Si diodes additionally requires an integration of color filters  to realize a shift in spectral sensitivity. This work presents an amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) photodiode with an intermediate contact for color separation without color filters. Such detectors can be produced in a low cost and low temperature PECVD process, which allows their direct deposition on a custom specific ASIC . Another advantage of a-Si:H is the up to 10 times higher light absorption compared to that of x-Si in the VIS spectrum . The device consists of a metal (Cr) cathode, an amorphous NIP diode structure and a TCO (Al doped ZnO) anode. The I-layer includes an interior TCO contact buried between two P-layers. The thickness of this TCO layer is about 200 nm; the P-layers have a thickness of about 10 nm. The chromium cathode is sputtered on a glass substrate in a PVD process. The amorphous layers are deposited in a multi-chamber PECVD line; the buried and top TCO contacts are sputtered in the same line continuously under high-vacuum conditions. In a first photolithography step the top anode is patterned while the buried anode is uncovered. Afterwards, the diode must be patterned again, resulting in a final Cr, NIP-a-Si:H, TCO, PIP-a-Si:H and TCO multi-layer stack.
The spectral sensitivity of a common NIP diode can be shifted by external bias voltages. The spectral sensitivity at higher negative voltages overlays those of that at lower voltages and additionally shifts to longer wavelengths. The color reproduction is difficult; it can be improved by reducing the overlap of the spectral sensitivity . The spectral response of the diodes presented in this work also can be shifted by the bias voltage. Furthermore, it can be split by substituting the disclosed anodes. The spectral response, using the cathode and top anode has a maximum at short wavelengths. If the diode between the interior anode and the cathode is used, the spectral sensitivity for longer wavelengths increases. Shorter wavelengths are blocked by the top part of the diode; it works like a filter. The presented device structure offers good prospects to improve color separation compared to currently existing detectors by using an additional intermediate contact.