Piezotronic AlGaN nanowire Schottky junctions grown on a metal substrate

Latifah Al-Maghrabi, Chen Huang, Davide Priante, Meng Tian, Jung-Wook Min, Chao Zhao, Huafan Zhang, Ram Chandra Subedi, Hala H. Alhashim, Haiding Sun, Tien Khee Ng, Boon S. Ooi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The non-centrosymmetric crystal structures of polar-semiconductors comprising GaN, InN, AlN, and ZnO intrigued the scientific community in investigating their potential for a strain-induced nano-energy generation. The coupled semiconducting and piezoelectric properties produce a piezo-potential that modulates the charge transport across their heterostructure interfaces. By using conductive-atomic force microscopy, we investigate the mechanism that gives rise to the piezotronic effect in AlGaN nanowires (NWs) grown on a molybdenum (Mo) substrate. By applying external bias and force on the NWs/Mo structure using a Pt–Ir probe, the charge transport across the two adjoining Schottky junctions is modulated due to the change in the apparent Schottky barrier heights (SBHs) that result from the strain-induced piezo-potential. We measured an increase in the SBH of 98.12 meV with respect to the background force, which corresponds to an SBH variation $\textstyle\frac{\partial\phi}{\partial F}$ of 6.24 meV/nN for the semiconductor/Ti/Mo interface. The SBH modulation, which is responsible for the piezotronic effect, is further studied by measuring the temperature-dependent I–V curves from room temperature to 398 K. The insights gained from the unique structure of AlGaN NWs/Mo shed light on the electronic properties of the metal-semiconductor interfaces, as well as on the potential application of AlGaN NW piezoelectric nanomaterials in optoelectronics, sensors, and energy generation applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)055014
JournalAIP Advances
Volume10
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - May 11 2020

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