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Transient surface photovoltage studies of bare and Ni-filled porous silicon performed in different ambients

Petra Granitzer1*, Klemens Rumpf1, Yuri Strzhemechny2 and Puskar Chapagain2

Author Affiliations

1 Institute of Physics, Karl Franzens University Graz, Universitaetsplatz 5, Graz, 8010, Austria

2 Department of Physics and Astronomy, Texas Christian University, 76129 Fort Worth, TX, USA

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Nanoscale Research Letters 2014, 9:423  doi:10.1186/1556-276X-9-423

Published: 21 August 2014


Mesoporous silicon and porous silicon/Ni nanocomposites have been investigated in this work employing light-dark surface photovoltage (SPV) transients to monitor the response of surface charge dynamics to illumination changes. The samples were prepared by anodization of a highly n-doped silicon wafer and a subsequent electrodepositing of Ni into the pores. The resulting pores were oriented towards the surface with an average pore diameter of 60 nm and the thickness of the porous layer of approximately 40 μm. SPV was performed on a bare porous silicon as well as on a Ni-filled porous silicon in vacuum and in different gaseous environments (O2, N2, Ar). A significant difference was observed between the ‘light-on’ and ‘light-off’ SPV transients obtained in vacuum and those observed in gaseous ambiences. Such behavior could be explained by the contribution to the charge exchange in gas environments from chemisorbed and physisorbed species at the semiconductor surface.


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Porous silicon; Electrodeposition; Surface photovoltage