Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Surface engineered two-dimensional and quasi-one-dimensional nanomaterials for electronic and optoelectronic devices
by Du, Xiang, Ph.D., National University of Singapore (Singapore), 2015, 146; 10006107
Abstract (Summary)

As the sizes of individual components in electronic and optoelectronic devices approach nano scale, the performance of the devices is often determined by surface properties due to their large surface-to-volume ratio. Surface phenomena have become one of the cornerstones in nanoelectronic industry. For this reason, research on the surface functionalization has been tremendous amount of growth over the past decades, and promises to be an increasingly important field in the future.

Surface functionalization, as an effective technique to modify the surface properties of a material through a physical or chemical approach, exhibits great potential to solve the problems and challenges, and modulate the performance of nanomaterials based functional devices. Surface functionalization drives the developments and applications of modern electronic and optoelectronic devices fabricated by nanomaterials. In this thesis, I demonstrate two surface functionalization approaches, namely, surface transfer doping and H2 annealing, to effectively solve the problems and significantly enhance the performance of 2D (single structure black phosphorus (BP) and heterostructure graphene/Si Schottky junction), and quasi-1D (molybdenum trioxide (MoO 3) nanobelt) nanomaterials based functional devices, respectively. In situ photoelectron spectroscopy (PES) measurements were also carried out to explore the interfacial charge transfer occurring at the interface between the nanostructures and doping layers, and the gap states in MoO 3 thin films, which provides the underlying mechanism to understand and support our device measurement results.

In the first part of this thesis, I will discuss the first surface functionalization approach, namely, surface transfer doping, to effectively modulate the ambipolar characteristics of 2D few-layer BP flakes based FETs. The ambipolar characteristics of BP transistors were effectively modulated through in situ surface functionalization with cesium carbonate (Cs2CO3) and MoO3, respectively. Cs2CO3 was found to strongly electron dope black phosphorus. The electron mobility of black phosphorus was significantly enhanced to ∼27 cm2V-1s-1 after 10 nm Cs2CO3 modification, indicating a greatly improved electron transport behavior. In contrast, MoO3 decoration demonstrated a giant hole doping effect. In situ PES characterization confirms the interfacial charge transfer between black phosphorus and doping layers. This doping can also modulate the Schottky junctions formed between metal contacts and black phosphorus flakes, and hence to enhance the responsivity of black phosphorus based photodetectors. These findings coupled with the tunable nature of the surface transfer doping scheme ensure black phosphorus as a promising candidate for further complementary logic electronics.

Following the same surface transfer doping technique, I will demonstrate a remarkable performance enhancement of graphene/Si Schottky junction based self-powered photodetectors via surface modification with MoO3 thin film. It was found that the photocurrent responsivity of MoO3 doped graphene/Si photodetectors was highly increased under a wide spectrum of illuminated light from ultraviolet to near infrared. The current on-off ratio reached up to ∼104 under illumination of 500 nm light with intensity of ∼62 μWcm-2. More importantly, the external quantum efficiency of graphene/Si devices was significantly enhanced up to ∼80% by almost four times in the visible light region after MoO3 functionalization. The largely improved photodetecting performance originates from the increased Schottky barrier height at the graphene/Si interface as well as the reduced series resistance after MoO3 modification, which was further corroborated by the in situ PES and electrical transport characterizations. These observations promise a simple method to effectively modify the graphene/Si Schottky junction based self-powered photodetectors and thus significantly enhance their photodetecting performance.

After discussion of the first surface functionalization method, next I will introduce the second approach which is H2 annealing, to greatly extend the photoresponse range of single MoO3 nanobelt based photodetector from UV to visible light by introducing substantial gap states. After annealing, the conductance of MoO3 nanobelt was largely enhanced; at the same time, the photodetector possessed wide visible spectrum response. As corroborated by in situ PES investigations, such strong wide spectrum photoresponse arises from the largely enriched oxygen vacancies and gap states in MoO3 nanobelt after H2 annealing. These results open up a new avenue to extend the wide bandgap metal oxide nanomaterials based optoelectronics devices with efficient visible light response through surface modification, i.e. the introduction of the high density of carefully engineered gap states.

Indexing (document details)
School: National University of Singapore (Singapore)
Department: Physics
School Location: Republic of Singapore
Source: DAI-B 77/06(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Physics
Publication Number: 10006107
ISBN: 978-1-339-43969-3
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