Photodetection Characteristics of Gold Coated AFM Tips and n-Silicon Substrate nano-Schottky Interfaces

Yawar Abbas, Ayman Rezk, Irfan Saadat, Ammar Nayfeh, Moh’d Rezeq

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Silicon (Si)-based photodetectors are appealing candidates due to their low cost and compatibility with the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) technology. The nanoscale devices based on Si can contribute efficiently in the field of photodetectors. In this report, we investigate the photodetection capability of nano-Schottky junctions using gold (Au) coated conductive atomic force microscope (C-AFM) tips, and highly cleaned n-Si substrate interface. The Au nanotip/n-Si interface forms the proposed structure of a nano Schottky diode based photodetector. The electrical characteristics measured at the nanoscale junction with different Au nanotip radii show that the tunneling current increases with decreasing the tip radius. Moreover, the tunneling process and photodetection effects are discussed in terms of barrier width/height decrease at the tip-semiconductor interface due to the applied electric field as well as the generation of plasmon-induced hot-electron at the nanoparticle (i.e. C-AFM tip)/n-Si interface. Furthermore, the photodetection sensitivity is investigated and it is found to be higher for C-AFM tips with smaller radii. Moreover, this research will open a new path for the miniaturization of photodetectors with high sensitivity based on nano-Schottky interfaces.

Original languageBritish English
Article number13586
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2019


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