5 years ago

Extreme Carrier Depletion and Superlinear Photoconductivity in Ultrathin Parallel-Aligned ZnO Nanowire Array Photodetectors Fabricated by Infiltration Synthesis

Extreme Carrier Depletion and Superlinear Photoconductivity in Ultrathin Parallel-Aligned ZnO Nanowire Array Photodetectors Fabricated by Infiltration Synthesis
Aaron Stein, Chang-Yong Nam
Ultrathin semiconductor nanowires enable high-performance chemical sensors and photodetectors, but their synthesis and device integration by standard complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-compatible processes remain persistent challenges. This work demonstrates fully CMOS-compatible synthesis and integration of parallel-aligned polycrystalline ZnO nanowire arrays into ultraviolet photodetectors via infiltration synthesis, material hybridization technique derived from atomic layer deposition. The nanowire photodetector features unique, high device performances originating from extreme charge carrier depletion, achieving photoconductive on–off ratios of >6 decades, blindness to visible light, and ultralow dark currents as low as 1 fA, the lowest reported for nanostructure-based photoconductive photodetectors. Surprisingly, the low dark current is invariant with increasing number of nanowires and the photodetector shows unusual superlinear photoconductivity, observed for the first time in nanowires, leading to increasing detector responsivity and other parameters for higher incident light powers. Temperature-dependent carrier concentration and mobility reveal the photoelectrochemical-thermionic emission process at grain boundaries, responsible for the observed unique photodetector performances and superlinear photoconductivity. The results elucidate fundamental processes responsible for photogain in polycrystalline nanostructures, providing useful guidelines for developing nanostructure-based detectors and sensors. The developed fully CMOS-compatible nanowire synthesis and device fabrication methods also have potentials for scalable integration of nanowire sensor devices and circuitries. Infiltration synthesis enables fully complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS)-compatible synthesis of parallel-aligned polycrystalline ZnO nanowire arrays and their integration into ultrasensitive UV detectors featuring ≈1 fA dark currents, the lowest reported for photoconductive photodetectors. The full carrier depletion and photoelectrochemical thermionic emission enable dark currents invariant with increasing number of nanowires, >106 on–off ratios, and unique superlinear photoconductivity, a behavior first observed in nanowires.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/adom.201700807

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