Nano Research

Article Title

Enhanced performance of GaN nanobelt-based photodetectors by means of piezotronic effects


GaN nanobelts, Schottky contact, piezotronics, photodetector


GaN ultraviolet (UV) photodetectors (PDs) have attracted tremendous attention due to their chemical stability in harsh environments. Although Schottkycontacted GaN-based UV PDs have been implemented with better performance than that of ohmic contacts, it remains unknown how the barrier height at local Schottky contacts controls the sensors’ performance. In this work, the piezotronic effect was employed to tune the Schottky barrier height (SBH) at local contacts and hence enhance the performances of Schottky-contacted metal–semiconductor– metal (MSM) structured GaN nanobelt (NB)-based PDs. In general, the response level of the PDs was obviously enhanced by the piezotronic effect when applying a strain on devices. The responsivity of the PD was increased by 18%, and the sensitivity was enhanced by from 22% to 31%, when illuminated by a 325 nm laser with light intensity ranging from 12 to 2 W/cm2. Carefully studying the mechanism using band structure diagrams reveals that the observed enhancement of the PD performance resulted from the change in SBH caused by external strain as well as light intensity. Using piezotronic effects thus provides a practical way to enhance the performance of PDs made not only of GaN, but also other wurtzite and zinc blende family materials.

Graphical Abstract


Tsinghua University Press