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Semiconductor nanowire photodetectors

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Published on 14 September 2020
Semiconductor nanowires constitute the ultimate miniaturization limit for a number of electronic and optoelectronic devices. In the field of photodetectors, the low electrical cross-section of nanowires implies low electrical capacitance, and this comes without degradation of total light absorption due to antenna effects. Indeed, nanowire arrays should exhibit higher absorption than a thin film of the equivalent thickness. Another interesting feature of nanowire photodetectors is their compatibility with silicon technology, either as growth support or carrier wafer with easy transfer procedures, which opens interesting possibilities of integrating the detector and readout. It is also particularly attractive the possibility of growth or transfer into flexible materials, which opens perspectives for the development of wearable devices.
Our target is to assess experimentally these theoretical advantages of a nanowire photodetectors. Our team has experience in the fabrication and characterization of single-nanowire devices, and here we will study the evolution of the performance in a device based on a nanowire array. We are interested in the potential application of such devices as telecom detectors and as biosensors, after functionalization.

Objectives and available means:
The student will work on the fabrication and characterization of UV photodetectors based on GaN nanowire arrays, which implies training in device fabrication technologies and electrical and optical characterization setups. Results will be compared with single-nanowire devices.

The team: The student will integrate a research team of the Nanophysics and Semiconductor Lab. (NPSC) Have a look at our webpage.
For more information on our work, please read our recent publications (available on demand):
[1] “Effect of Bias on the Response of GaN Axial p–n Junction Single-Nanowire Photodetectors”, S. Cuesta, et al. Nano Letters 19 (8), 5506-5514 (2019)
[2] “Nanowire photodetectors based on wurtzite semiconductor heterostructures”, M. Spies and E. Monroy, Semiconductor Science and Technology 34, 053002 (2019)

Collaboration and networking:
The research will develop in collaboration with Institut Néel (transmission electron microscopy) and LETI (application as biosensors). 

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