Avalanche multiplication of photocarriers in nanometer-sized silicon dot layers

Hirano, Yoshiyuki; Okamoto, Kenta; Yamazaki, Susumu; Koshida, Nobuyoshi
August 2009
Applied Physics Letters;8/10/2009, Vol. 95 Issue 6, p063109
Academic Journal
Photocurrent under reverse bias has been studied for metal-semiconductor diodes consisting of nanocrystalline Si dot (3.1 nm in mean diameter) embedded in SiO2. The samples were prepared on n+-type Si wafers by sequential dry processing based on low-pressure chemical vapor deposition and subsequent thermal oxidation. The temperature dependence measurements show that the quantum efficiency under an electric field of 9×105 V/cm reaches 2400% at 77 K. This high quantum efficiency is presumably caused by the avalanche multiplication of photoexcited carriers in the Si-nanodot layers. The Si-nanodot layer is potentially useful as a highly sensitive image-sensor target compatible with low-voltage operation.


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