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Open Access Nano Express

Single nanowire-based UV photodetectors for fast switching

Kamran ul Hasan1*, N H Alvi1, Jun Lu2, O Nur1 and Magnus Willander1

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Science and Technology (ITN) Linköping University, Campus Norrköping, SE-601 74 Norrköping, Sweden

2 Thin Film Physics, IFM, Linköping University, Linköping, 581 83, Sweden

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:348  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-348

Published: 19 April 2011


Relatively long (30 µm) high quality ZnO nanowires (NWs) were grown by the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) technique. Schottky diodes of single NW were fabricated by putting single ZnO NW across Au and Pt electrodes. A device with ohmic contacts at both the sides was also fabricated for comparison. The current-voltage (I-V) measurements for the Schottky diode show clear rectifying behavior and no reverse breakdown was seen down to -5 V. High current was observed in the forward bias and the device was found to be stable up to 12 V applied bias. The Schottky barrier device shows more sensitivity, lower dark current, and much faster switching under pulsed UV illumination. Desorption and re-adsorption of much smaller number of oxygen ions at the Schottky junction effectively alters the barrier height resulting in a faster response even for very long NWs. The NW was treated with oxygen plasma to improve the switching. The photodetector shows high stability, reversibility, and sensitivity to UV light. The results imply that single ZnO NW Schottky diode is a promising candidate for fabricating UV photodetectors.