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Nat Nanotechnol. 2017 Oct;12(10):963-968. doi: 10.1038/nnano.2017.153. Epub 2017 Aug 7.

Photon-triggered nanowire transistors.

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Department of Physics, Korea University, Seoul 02841, Republic of Korea.
Department of Physics, Chung-Ang University, Seoul 06974, Republic of Korea.


Photon-triggered electronic circuits have been a long-standing goal of photonics. Recent demonstrations include either all-optical transistors in which photons control other photons or phototransistors with the gate response tuned or enhanced by photons. However, only a few studies report on devices in which electronic currents are optically switched and amplified without an electrical gate. Here we show photon-triggered nanowire (NW) transistors, photon-triggered NW logic gates and a single NW photodetection system. NWs are synthesized with long crystalline silicon (CSi) segments connected by short porous silicon (PSi) segments. In a fabricated device, the electrical contacts on both ends of the NW are connected to a single PSi segment in the middle. Exposing the PSi segment to light triggers a current in the NW with a high on/off ratio of >8 × 106. A device that contains two PSi segments along the NW can be triggered using two independent optical input signals. Using localized pump lasers, we demonstrate photon-triggered logic gates including AND, OR and NAND gates. A photon-triggered NW transistor of diameter 25 nm with a single 100 nm PSi segment requires less than 300 pW of power. Furthermore, we take advantage of the high photosensitivity and fabricate a submicrometre-resolution photodetection system. Photon-triggered transistors offer a new venue towards multifunctional device applications such as programmable logic elements and ultrasensitive photodetectors.


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