Group-III nitride nano-dimensional materials with noncentrosymmetric crystal structure offer an exciting area of piezotronics for energy conversion applications. We experimentally report the piezotronic and piezo-phototronic effects of n-InGaN nanowires (NWs) having an emission wavelength in the visible region (≈ 510 nm). The n-type InGaN NWs, exhibiting high structural and optical quality, were grown by plasma-assisted molecular beam epitaxy (PAMBE) on Ti/TaN/Si substrates to facilitate the direct bottom electrical contact to the NWs. Further, we use Pt/Ir conductive atomic force microscopy (c-AFM) tip as a top electrical contact to the NW. Applying compressive strain on the NWs using a c-AFM tip, the Schottky barrier height (SBH) formed at the metal-semiconductor NW interface was tuned by means of strain induced piezo-potential. Thus, we study the two-way coupling of mechanical and electrical energy results in piezotronics of n-InGaN NWs. Such measurements were further carried out under optical excitation with 405 nm laser to understand its effect on change in SBH. Thereby, we demonstrate the three-way coupling of the piezo-phototronics of n-InGaN NWs by exploiting their excellent visible optoelectronic properties. The photogenerated carriers reduce the SBH while they play a lesser role at higher tip deflection force on NWs. This revealed that at the higher strain on NW, the piezo fields screen the photoexcited carriers hence resulting in a negligible change in I-V characteristics for ≥ 6 nN tip force with and without illumination. Thus, the investigation of nanoscale piezotronic and piezo-phototronic effects of n-InGaN NWs provides an opportunity to enable piezoelectric functional devices to be used as strain-tunable, self-powered electronics and optoelectronics applications.
- Renewable Energy, Sustainability and the Environment
- Materials Science(all)
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering