Nano Research

Article Title

Doping-free fabrication of carbon nanotube thin-film diodes and their photovoltaic characteristics


Carbon nanotube, photovoltaic, diodes, thin film, doping-free


Random networks of single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) were have been grown by chemical vapor deposition on silicon wafers and used for fabricating field-effect transistors (FETs) using symmetric Pd contacts and diodes using asymmetrical Pd and Sc contacts. For a short channel FET or diode with a channel length of about 1 μm or less, the device works in the direct transport regime, while for a longer channel device the transport mechanism changes to percolation. Detailed electronic and photovoltaic (PV) characterizations of these carbon nanotube (CNT) thin-film devices was carried out. While as-fabricated FETs exhibited typical p-type transfer characteristics, with a large current ON/OFF ratio of more than 104 when metallic CNTs were removed via a controlled breakdown, it was found that the threshold voltage for the devices was typically very large, of the order of about 10 V. This situation was greatly improved when the device was coated with a passivation layer of 12 nm HfO2, which effectively moved the threshold voltages of both FET and diode back to center around zero or turned these device to their OFF states when no bias was applied on the gate. PV measurements were then made on the short channel diodes under infrared laser illumination. It was shown that under an illumination power density of 1.5 kW/cm2, the device resulted in an open circuit voltage VOC = 0.21 V and a short circuit current ISC = 3.74 nA. Furthermore, we compared PV characteristics of CNT film diodes with different channel lengths, and found that the power transform efficiency decreased significantly when the device changed from the direct transport to the percolation regime.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press