Electrical breakdown of ZnO nanowires in metal-semiconductor-metal structure

Qi Zhang; Junjie Qi; Ya Yang; Yunhua Huang; Xin Li; Yue Zhang
June 2010
Applied Physics Letters;6/21/2010, Vol. 96 Issue 25, p253112
Academic Journal
We investigated the stability of ZnO nanowires in a metal-semiconductor-metal structure by applying a longitudinal electric field inside a scanning electron microscope equipped with manipulators. The electrical transport was well simulated by the thermionic-field-emission model and the failure of single crystalline ZnO nanowires was directly observed when the applied electric field reached the break point, an electric field intensity of ∼106 V/m. The recrystallization of ZnO nanowires from single crystalline to polycrystalline pearl-like structure in the failure process was also investigated. Experimental results indicated that the failure is attributed to a joint effect of high electric field and Joule heating.


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