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Optimizing Performance of Silicon-Based p–n Junction Photodetectors by the Piezo-Phototronic Effect

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journal contribution
posted on 23.12.2014, 00:00 by Zhaona Wang, Ruomeng Yu, Xiaonan Wen, Ying Liu, Caofeng Pan, Wenzhuo Wu, Zhong Lin Wang
Silicon-based p–n junction photodetectors (PDs) play an essential role in optoelectronic applications for photosensing due to their outstanding compatibility with well-developed integrated circuit technology. The piezo-phototronic effect, a three-way coupling effect among semiconductor properties, piezoelectric polarizations, and photon excitation, has been demonstrated as an effective approach to tune/modulate the generation, separation, and recombination of photogenerated electron–hole pairs during optoelectronic processes in piezoelectric-semiconductor materials. Here, we utilize the strain-induced piezo-polarization charges in a piezoelectric n-ZnO layer to modulate the optoelectronic process initiated in a p-Si layer and thus optimize the performances of p-Si/ZnO NWs hybridized photodetectors for visible sensing via tuning the transport property of charge carriers across the Si/ZnO heterojunction interface. The maximum photoresponsivity R of 7.1 A/W and fastest rising time of 101 ms were obtained from these PDs when applying an external compressive strain of −0.10‰ on the ZnO NWs, corresponding to relative enhancement of 177% in R and shortening to 87% in response time, respectively. These results indicate a promising method to enhance/optimize the performances of non-piezoelectric semiconductor material (e.g., Si) based optoelectronic devices by the piezo-phototronic effect.

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