Photon-Triggered Current Generation in Chemically-Synthesized Silicon Nanowires

Jungkil Kim, Ha Reem Kim, Hoo Cheol Lee, Kyoung Ho Kim, Min Soo Hwang, Jung Min Lee, Kwang Yong Jeong, Hong Kyu Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


A porous Si segment in a Si nanowire (NW), when exposed to light, generates a current with a high on/off ratio. This unique feature has been recently used to demonstrate photon-triggered NW devices including transistors, logic gates, and photodetection systems. Here, we develop a reliable and simple procedure to fabricate porous Si segments in chemically synthesized Si NWs for photon-triggered current generation. To achieve this, we employ 100 nm-diameter chemical-vapor-deposition grown Si NWs that possess an n-type high doping level and extremely smooth surface. The NW regions uncovered by electron-beam resist become selectively porous through metal-assisted chemical etching, using Ag nanoparticles as a catalyst. The contact electrodes are then fabricated on both ends of such NWs, and the generated current is measured when the laser is focused on the porous Si segment. The current level is changed by controlling the power of the incident laser and bias voltage. The on/off ratio is measured up to 1.5 × 10 4 at a forward bias of 5 V. In addition, we investigate the porous-length-dependent responsivity of the NW device with the porous Si segment. The responsivity is observed to decrease for porous segment lengths beyond 360 nm. Furthermore, we fabricate nine porous Si segments in a single Si NW and measure the identical photon-triggered current from each porous segment; this single NW device can function as a high-resolution photodetection system. Therefore, our fabrication method to precisely control the position and length of the porous Si segments opens up new possibilities for the practical implementation of programmable logic gates and ultrasensitive photodetectors.

Original languageEnglish
JournalNano Letters
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Jan 1


  • chemical synthesis
  • photodetector
  • Photon-triggered current
  • porous silicon
  • silicon nanowire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • General Chemistry
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Photon-Triggered Current Generation in Chemically-Synthesized Silicon Nanowires'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this