A nanoscale pn junction in series with tunable Schottky barriers

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  • PN junctions in nanoscale materials are of interest for a range of technologies including photodetectors, solar cells, and light-emitting diodes. However, Schottky barriers at the interface between metal contacts and the nanomaterial are often unavoidable. The effect of metal-semiconductor interfaces on the behavior of nanoscale diodes must be understood, both to extract the characteristics of the pn junction, and to understand the overall characteristics of the final device. Here, we study the current-voltage characteristics of diodes that are formed in fully suspended carbon nanotubes (CNTs). We utilize tunable Schottky barrier heights at the CNT-metal interface to elucidate the role of the Schottky barriers on the device characteristics. We develop a quantitative model to show how a variety of device characteristics can arise from apparently similar devices. Using our model we extract key parameters of the Schottky barriers and the pn junction, and predict the overall I-V characteristics of the device. Our equivalent circuit model is relevant to a variety of nanomaterial-based diode devices that are currently under investigation.
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  • Aspitarte, Lee;McCulley, Daniel R.;Minot, Ethan D.; 2017. A nanoscale pn junction in series with tunable Schottky barriers. Journal of Applied Physics 122 (13)
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  • 122
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