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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2012 Dec;4(12):6676-82. doi: 10.1021/am301848a. Epub 2012 Nov 20.

Field emission properties of gold nanoparticle-decorated ZnO nanopillars.

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Department of Electrophysics, National Chiao Tung University, Hsinchu 300, Taiwan.


The structural and optoelectronic properties of ZnO nanopillars (ZnO-NPs) grown on Si substrates by the vapor transport deposition method were investigated. In particular, by varying the deposition duration and hence the morphology of the vertically aligned ZnO-NPs, the resultant field emission characteristics were systematically compared. In addition to identifying the advantageous field emission properties exhibited in the pencil-like ZnO-NPs, we observed that by adhering Au nanoparticles on the surface of the ZnO-NPs the turn-on field and the maximum current density can be drastically improved from 3.15 V/μm and 0.44 mA/cm(2) at 5 V/μm for the best ZnO-NPs to 2.65 V/μm and 2.11 mA/cm(2) at 5 V/μm for Au/ZnO-NPs, respectively. The enhancement of field emission characteristics that resulted from Au-nanoparticle decoration is discussed on the basis of charge-transfer-induced band structure modifications.


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