Dense Ge nanocrystals embedded in TiO2 with exponentially increased photoconduction by field effect

Dense Ge nanocrystals embedded in TiO2 with exponentially increased photoconduction by field effect

Publication Type:

Journal Article

Source:

Scientific Reports, Volume 8 (2018)

ISBN:

2045-2322

Abstract:

<p>Si and Ge nanocrystals in oxides are of a large interest for photo-effect applications due to the fine-tuning of the optical bandgap by quantum confinement in nanocrystals. In this work, dense Ge nanocrystals suitable for enhanced photoconduction were fabricated from 60% Ge in TiO2 amorphous layers by low temperature rapid thermal annealing at 550 degrees C. An exponential increase of the photocurrent with the applied voltage was observed in coplanar structure of Ge nanocrystals composite films deposited on oxidized Si wafers. The behaviour was explained by field effect control of the Fermi level at the Ge nanocrystals-TiO2 layer/substrate interfaces. The blue-shift of the absorption gap from bulk Ge value to 1.14 eV was evidenced in both photocurrent spectra and optical reflection-transmission experiments, in good agreement with quantum confinement induced bandgap broadening in Ge nanocrystal with sizes of about 5 nm as found from HRTEM and XRD investigations. A nonmonotonic spectral dependence of the refractive index is associated to the Ge nanocrystals formation. The nanocrystal morphology is also in good agreement with the Coulomb gap hopping mechanism of T-1/2 -type explaining the temperature dependence of the dark conduction.</p>