Photon-triggered nanowire transistors

Jungkil Kim, Hoo Cheol Lee, Kyoung Ho Kim, Min Soo Hwang, Jin Sung Park, Jung Min Lee, Jae Pil So, Jae Hyuck Choi, Soon Hong Kwon, Carl J. Barrelet, Hong Gyu Park

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

94 Citations (Scopus)


Photon-triggered electronic circuits have been a long-standing goal of photonics. Recent demonstrations include either all-optical transistors in which photons control other photons or phototransistors with the gate response tuned or enhanced by photons. However, only a few studies report on devices in which electronic currents are optically switched and amplified without an electrical gate. Here we show photon-triggered nanowire (NW) transistors, photon-triggered NW logic gates and a single NW photodetection system. NWs are synthesized with long crystalline silicon (CSi) segments connected by short porous silicon (PSi) segments. In a fabricated device, the electrical contacts on both ends of the NW are connected to a single PSi segment in the middle. Exposing the PSi segment to light triggers a current in the NW with a high on/off ratio of >8 × 10 6. A device that contains two PSi segments along the NW can be triggered using two independent optical input signals. Using localized pump lasers, we demonstrate photon-triggered logic gates including AND, OR and NAND gates. A photon-triggered NW transistor of diameter 25 nm with a single 100 nm PSi segment requires less than 300 pW of power. Furthermore, we take advantage of the high photosensitivity and fabricate a submicrometre-resolution photodetection system. Photon-triggered transistors offer a new venue towards multifunctional device applications such as programmable logic elements and ultrasensitive photodetectors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-968
Number of pages6
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Oct 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors thank J.-H. Song and M.-K. Seo for helping to build the experimental set-up. This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean government (MSIP) (nos. 2009-0081565 and 2014M3A6B3063710). S.-H.K. acknowledges the support of an NRF grant (NRF-2016R1C1B2007007).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature. All rights reserved.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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