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Enhanced UV photosensitivity from rapid thermal annealed vertically aligned ZnO nanowires

Soumen Dhara1* and PK Giri12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Physics, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Guwahati-781039, India

2 Centre for Nanotechnology, Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, Guwahati-781039, India

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2011, 6:504  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-6-504

Published: 22 August 2011


We report on the major improvement in UV photosensitivity and faster photoresponse from vertically aligned ZnO nanowires (NWs) by means of rapid thermal annealing (RTA). The ZnO NWs were grown by vapor-liquid-solid method and subsequently RTA treated at 700°C and 800°C for 120 s. The UV photosensitivity (photo-to-dark current ratio) is 4.5 × 103 for the as-grown NWs and after RTA treatment it is enhanced by a factor of five. The photocurrent (PC) spectra of the as-grown and RTA-treated NWs show a strong peak in the UV region and two other relatively weak peaks in the visible region. The photoresponse measurement shows a bi-exponential growth and bi-exponential decay of the PC from as-grown as well as RTA-treated ZnO NWs. The growth and decay time constants are reduced after the RTA treatment indicating a faster photoresponse. The dark current-voltage characteristics clearly show the presence of surface defects-related trap centers on the as-grown ZnO NWs and after RTA treatment it is significantly reduced. The RTA processing diminishes the surface defect-related trap centers and modifies the surface of the ZnO NWs, resulting in enhanced PC and faster photoresponse. These results demonstrated the effectiveness of RTA processing for achieving improved photosensitivity of ZnO NWs.

ZnO Nanowires; rapid thermal annealing; photocurrent; photoresponse