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Single p-type/intrinsic/n-type silicon nanowires as nanoscale avalanche photodetectors

Yang, Chen and Barrelet, Carl J. and Capasso, Federico and Lieber, Charles M. (2006) Single p-type/intrinsic/n-type silicon nanowires as nanoscale avalanche photodetectors. NANO LETTERS, 6 (12). pp. 2929-2934.

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We report the controlled synthesis of axial modulation-doped p-type/intrinsic/n-type (p-i-n) silicon nanowires with uniform diameters and single-crystal structures. The p-i-n nanowires were grown in three sequential steps: in the presence of diborane for the p-type region, in the absence of chemical dopant sources for the middle segment, and in the presence of phosphine for the n-type region. The p-i-n nanowires were structurally characterized by transmission electron microscopy, and the spatially resolved electrical properties of individual nanowires were determined by electrostatic force and scanning gate microscopies. Temperature-dependent current-voltage measurements recorded from individual p-i-n devices show an increase in the breakdown voltage with temperature, characteristic of band-to-band impact ionization, or avalanche breakdown. Spatially resolved photocurrent measurements show that the largest photocurrent is generated at the intrinsic region located between the electrode contacts, with multiplication factors in excess of ca. 30, and demonstrate that single p-i-n nanowires function as avalanche photodiodes. Electron- and hole-initiated avalanche gain measurements performed by localized photoexcitation of the p-type and n-type regions yield multiplication factors of ca. 100 and 20, respectively. These results demonstrate the significant potential of single p-i-n nanowires as nanoscale avalanche photodetectors and open possible opportunities for studying impact ionization of electrons and holes within quasi-one-dimensional semiconductor systems.

Item Type:Article
Subjects:Physical Science > Nanophysics
Material Science > Nanofabrication processes and tools
Physical Science > Nano objects
Physical Science > Nanoelectronics
Material Science > Nanostructured materials
ID Code:2224
Deposited By:Anuj Seth
Deposited On:06 Jan 2009 16:08
Last Modified:20 Jan 2009 10:55

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