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Open Access Nano Express

Photogenerated charges and surface potential variations investigated on single Si nanorods by electrostatic force microscopy combined with laser irradiation

Shan Wu, Zilong Wu, Dongdong Lin, Zhenyang Zhong, Zuimin Jiang and Xinju Yang*

Author Affiliations

State Key Laboratory of Surface Physics, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:245  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-245

Published: 20 May 2014

Abstract

Photogenerated charging properties of single Si nanorods (Si NRs) are investigated by electrostatic force microscopy (EFM) combined with laser irradiation. Under laser irradiation, Si NRs are positively charged. The amount of the charges trapped in single NRs as well as the contact potential difference between the tip and NRs' surface is achieved from an analytical fitting of the phase shift - voltage curve. Both of them significantly vary with the laser intensity and the NR's size and construction. The photogenerated charging and decharging rates are obtained at a timescale of seconds or slower, indicating that the Si NRs are promising candidates in photovoltaic applications.

Keywords:
Si nanorods; EFM; Photogenerated charging; Surface potential