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Persistent photoconductivity studies of c-axis GaN nanowires grown by MBE



Norman Sanford, Paul T. Blanchard, Kristine A. Bertness, Alexana Roshko, Beau Burton, Lorelle Mansfield, John B. Schlager, Steven George, Aric Sanders


Photoconductivity (PC) and persistent photoconductivity (PPC) were measured on c-axis GaN nanowires (NWs) grown by catalyst-free nitrogen plasma assisted MBE on Si(111) substrates. Unintentionally doped n-type NWs from two separate growth batches were examined. NWs were stripped from growth substrates and fabricated into test structures on fused quartz plates. Test structures were composed of: (i) 2-terminal electrically-contacted wires that were laying directly on the quartz substrates; (ii) bridge structures with the electrical contacts used to suspend the wires above the quartz plates by roughly 300 nm. In both cases the separation between the electrical contacts was approximately 3 m. NWs from the first batch ranged from 50 to 100 nm in diameter with larger diameter structures typically consisting of grown-together clusters composed of two or more wires. The second batch of wires also showed larger-diameter grown-together assemblies but yielded many larger-diameter structures composed of single well-formed wires. Samples were tested under 360 nm flood illumination at 3 mW/cm2 with biases in the 1-4 V range. PPC with durations ranging up to several hours were observed for the thicker grown-together wire clusters. By contrast both thin and thick single NWs generally showed PPC that would decay in a few minutes or less. The multi-wire clusters also displayed long PPC when illuminated sub-gap . Atomic layer deposition (ALD) of conformal alumina films roughly 10 nm thick on the NWs would increase the PPC by an order of magnitude or more in all cases. On the other hand, conformal ALD deposition of TaN films was comparatively benign. The observations are interpreted as resulting from traps and midgap states occurring on the NW surfaces and at defects and grain boundaries in the multi-wire assemblies. These effects are further complicated by ALD coating of the surfaces of these structures.
Conference Dates
September 16-21, 2007
Conference Location
Las Vegas, NV, USA
Conference Title
7th International Conference on Nitride Semiconductors


gallium nitride, GaN, nanorods, nanotechnology, nanowires, wide bandgap semiconductors


Sanford, N. , Blanchard, P. , Bertness, K. , Roshko, A. , Burton, B. , Mansfield, L. , Schlager, J. , George, S. and Sanders, A. (2007), Persistent photoconductivity studies of c-axis GaN nanowires grown by MBE, 7th International Conference on Nitride Semiconductors, Las Vegas, NV, USA (Accessed June 17, 2024)


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Created September 15, 2007, Updated October 12, 2021