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ACS Appl Mater Interfaces. 2014 May 14;6(9):6191-5. doi: 10.1021/am5010442. Epub 2014 Apr 28.

Strong influence of the humidity on the electrical properties of InGaAs surface quantum dots.

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Instituto de Sistemas Optoelectrónicos y Microtecnología (ISOM), Dpto. Ingeniería Electrónica, Universidad Politécnica de Madrid , Ciudad Universitaria s/n, 28040 Madrid, Spain.


The impact of the environment on the electrical properties of uncapped In0.5Ga0.5As nanostructures is studied as a function of different atmospheres for sensing applications. Electrical response from surface quantum dots (QD) shows a strong dependence on the atmosphere, in contrast to the response of 2D nanostructures. The sheet resistance drops by 99% from vacuum to air, and decreases more than one order of magnitude when relative humidity changes from 0 to 70%. The adsorption of water molecules onto the QD surface improves the conductivity likely by reducing the density of surface states acting as carrier traps, which enhances electron transport.

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