Characterization and modeling of a ZnO nanowire ultraviolet photodetector with graphene transparent contact
We report the demonstration of a ZnO nanowire ultraviolet photodetector with a top transparent electrode made of a few-layered graphene sheet. The nanowires have been synthesized using a low-cost electrodeposition method. The detector is shown to be visible-blind and to present a responsivity larger than 10(4) A/W in the near ultraviolet range thanks to a high photoconductive gain in ZnO nanowires. The device exhibits a peak responsivity at 370 nm wavelength and shows a sub bandgap response down to 415 nm explained by an Urbach tail with a characteristic energy of 83 meV. The temporal response of the detector and the power dependence are discussed. A model of the photoconductive mechanism is proposed showing that the main process responsible for the photoconductive gain is the modulation of the conducting surface due to the variation of the surface depletion layer and not the reduction of recombination efficiency stemming from the electron-hole spatial separation. The gain is predicted to decrease at high incident power due to the flattening of the lateral band bending in agreement with experimental data. (C) 2013 AIP Publishing LLC.