Synthesis, Morphological, and Electro-optical Characterizations of Metal/Semiconductor Nanowire Heterostructures
In this letter, we demonstrate the formation of unique Ga/GaAs/Si nanowire heterostructures, which were successfully implemented in nanoscale light-emitting devices with visible room temperature electroluminescence. Based on our recent approach for the integration of InAs/Si heterostructures into Si nanowires by ion implantation and flash lamp annealing, we developed a routine that has proven to be suitable for the monolithic integration of GaAs nanocrystallite segments into the core of silicon nanowires. The formation of a Ga segment adjacent to longer GaAs nanocrystallites resulted in Schottky-diode-like I/V characteristics with distinct electroluminescence originating from the GaAs nanocrystallite for the nanowire device operated in the reverse breakdown regime. The observed electroluminescence was ascribed to radiative band-to-band recombinations resulting in distinct emission peaks and a low contribution due to intraband transition, which were also observed under forward bias. Simulations of the obtained nanowire heterostructure confirmed the proposed impact ionization process responsible for hot carrier luminescence. This approach may enable a new route for on-chip photonic devices used for light emission or detection purposes.