Mechanisms behind slow photoresponse character of Pulsed Electron Deposited ZnO thin films

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Ozdogan M., Celebi C., Utlu G.

MATERIALS SCIENCE IN SEMICONDUCTOR PROCESSING, vol.107, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 107
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.mssp.2019.104863
  • Keywords: ZnO thin films, Photoresponse, Ultraviolet photodetector, Encapsulation, Defect states, Adsorbates, PHOTOCURRENT, TEMPERATURE, PHOTOLUMINESCENCE, PHOTOCONDUCTIVITY, PHOTODETECTORS, SPECTROSCOPY, NITROGEN, GRAPHENE, GROWTH, SENSOR


Semiconducting Zinc Oxide (ZnO) is ideal candidate for ultraviolet (UV) photodetector due to its promising optoelectronic properties. Photoconductive type ZnO photodetectors, which is fabricated in metal-semiconductor-metal configuration, show mostly very high photoconductivity under UV light, but they are plagued by slow photoresponse time as slow as several tens of hours, even more. Most of the studies claimed that atmospheric adsorbates such as water and oxygen create charge traps states on the surface and remarkably increase both the photoconductivity and response time. There are also limited studies, which claim that the defect states acting as hole trap centers prolong response time significantly. However, the underlying physical mechanism is still unclear. Here we study the effects of both adsorbates and defect-related states on the photoresponse character of Pulsed Electron Deposited ZnO thin films. In order to distinguish between these two mechanisms, we have compared the time-dependent photoresponse measurements of bare-ZnO and SiO2 encapsulated-ZnO thin film samples taken under UV light and high vacuum. We show that the dominant mechanism of photoresponse in ZnO is the adsorption/desorption of oxygen and water molecules even when the measurement is performed in high vacuum. After the encapsulation of sample surface by a thin SiO2 layer, the adsorption/desorption rates can significantly improve, and the effects of these molecules partially removed.