Solid-state electric generator based on chemically induced internal electron emission in metal-semiconductor heterojunction nanostructures

Karpov, E. G.; Nedrygailov, I. I.
May 2009
Applied Physics Letters;5/25/2009, Vol. 94 Issue 21, p214101
Academic Journal
Internal electron emission induced by hydrogen oxidation to water on surface of Pd/n-SiC heterojunction nanostructures is observed and the possibility for a new type of chemoelectrical power generator is discussed. The noble metal nanolayer serves both as reaction catalyst and emitter of hot electrons traveling over Schottky barrier and toward semiconductor anode. In situ chemical process provides significantly higher output of hot electrons compared to devices with externally heated cathodes. Large fraction of the hot electrons is generated nonadiabatically to complement the usual thermal excitation, leading to very high total internal quantum efficiency of the device, reaching 0.20 for the nanostructure studied here.


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