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Nano Lett. 2013 May 8;13(5):1920-7. doi: 10.1021/nl3041367. Epub 2013 Apr 12.

A facile integration of zero- (I-III-VI quantum dots) and one- (single SnO2 nanowire) dimensional nanomaterials: fabrication of a nanocomposite photodetector with ultrahigh gain and wide spectral response.

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Department of Physics, National Taiwan University, Taipei 106, Taiwan, Republic of China.


Via the integration of nanocomposites comprising I-III-VI semiconductor quantum dots (QDs) decorated onto a single SnO2 nanowire (NW), we successfully fabricate an ultrahigh-sensitivity and wide spectral-response photodetector. Under the illumination of He-Cd laser (325 nm) with the photon energy larger than the band gap of SnO2 nanowire, remarkably, an ultrahigh photocurrent gain up to 2.5 × 10(5) has been achieved, and an enhancement factor can reach up to 700% (cf. bare SnO2 NW) as light illumination onto the wire with an excitation intensity of 15 W/m(2). Also, a high gain value up to 1.3 × 10(5) is attained with the excited photon energy (488 nm) smaller than the band gap of SnO2 nanowire. Several key factors contribute to ultrahigh photocurrent gain and wide spectral response. First, the decorated quantum dot processes an inherent nature of a large absorption coefficient above its band gap. Furthermore, the single SnO2 nanowire provides an excellent conduction path for the photogenerated carriers as well as bears a large surface-to-volume ratio so that the coupling strength with quantum dots can be greatly enhanced. Most importantly, the spatial separation of photogenerated electrons and holes can be easily achieved due to the charge transfer arising from a type II band alignment between QDs and SnO2 NW. This work thus demonstrates a new approach in which by selectively decorating suitable QDs the photocurrent gain of SnO2 NWs can be greatly enhanced and extended to a wide spectral range of photoresponse previously inaccessible, providing a very useful guideline to create cheap, nontoxic, and highly efficient photodetectors.

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