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Bipolar Photothermoelectric Effect Across Energy Filters in Single Nanowires

Limpert, Steven LU ; Burke, Adam LU ; Chen, I. Ju LU ; Anttu, Nicklas LU ; Lehmann, Sebastian LU ; Fahlvik, Sofia; Bremner, Stephen; Conibeer, Gavin; Thelander, Claes LU and Pistol, Mats Erik LU , et al. (2017) In Nano Letters 17(7). p.4055-4060
Abstract

The photothermoelectric (PTE) effect uses nonuniform absorption of light to produce a voltage via the Seebeck effect and is of interest for optical sensing and solar-to-electric energy conversion. However, the utility of PTE devices reported to date has been limited by the need to use a tightly focused laser spot to achieve the required, nonuniform illumination and by their dependence upon the Seebeck coefficients of the constituent materials, which exhibit limited tunability and, generally, low values. Here, we use InAs/InP heterostructure nanowires to overcome these limitations: first, we use naturally occurring absorption "hot spots" at wave mode maxima within the nanowire to achieve sharp boundaries between heated and unheated... (More)

The photothermoelectric (PTE) effect uses nonuniform absorption of light to produce a voltage via the Seebeck effect and is of interest for optical sensing and solar-to-electric energy conversion. However, the utility of PTE devices reported to date has been limited by the need to use a tightly focused laser spot to achieve the required, nonuniform illumination and by their dependence upon the Seebeck coefficients of the constituent materials, which exhibit limited tunability and, generally, low values. Here, we use InAs/InP heterostructure nanowires to overcome these limitations: first, we use naturally occurring absorption "hot spots" at wave mode maxima within the nanowire to achieve sharp boundaries between heated and unheated subwavelength regions of high and low absorption, allowing us to use global illumination; second, we employ carrier energy-filtering heterostructures to achieve a high Seebeck coefficient that is tunable by heterostructure design. Using these methods, we demonstrate PTE voltages of hundreds of millivolts at room temperature from a globally illuminated nanowire device. Furthermore, we find PTE currents and voltages that change polarity as a function of the wavelength of illumination due to spatial shifting of subwavelength absorption hot spots. These results indicate the feasibility of designing new types of PTE-based photodetectors, photothermoelectrics, and hot-carrier solar cells using nanowires.

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publication status
published
subject
keywords
heterostructure nanowires, hot carriers, III-V, photodetectors, Photothermoelectric effect
in
Nano Letters
volume
17
issue
7
pages
6 pages
publisher
The American Chemical Society
external identifiers
  • scopus:85024395801
ISSN
1530-6984
DOI
10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00536
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
2b7efc6a-3126-45c2-bd1e-88c15647c38a
date added to LUP
2018-01-24 10:56:50
date last changed
2019-08-14 04:08:42
@article{2b7efc6a-3126-45c2-bd1e-88c15647c38a,
  abstract     = {<p>The photothermoelectric (PTE) effect uses nonuniform absorption of light to produce a voltage via the Seebeck effect and is of interest for optical sensing and solar-to-electric energy conversion. However, the utility of PTE devices reported to date has been limited by the need to use a tightly focused laser spot to achieve the required, nonuniform illumination and by their dependence upon the Seebeck coefficients of the constituent materials, which exhibit limited tunability and, generally, low values. Here, we use InAs/InP heterostructure nanowires to overcome these limitations: first, we use naturally occurring absorption "hot spots" at wave mode maxima within the nanowire to achieve sharp boundaries between heated and unheated subwavelength regions of high and low absorption, allowing us to use global illumination; second, we employ carrier energy-filtering heterostructures to achieve a high Seebeck coefficient that is tunable by heterostructure design. Using these methods, we demonstrate PTE voltages of hundreds of millivolts at room temperature from a globally illuminated nanowire device. Furthermore, we find PTE currents and voltages that change polarity as a function of the wavelength of illumination due to spatial shifting of subwavelength absorption hot spots. These results indicate the feasibility of designing new types of PTE-based photodetectors, photothermoelectrics, and hot-carrier solar cells using nanowires.</p>},
  author       = {Limpert, Steven and Burke, Adam and Chen, I. Ju and Anttu, Nicklas and Lehmann, Sebastian and Fahlvik, Sofia and Bremner, Stephen and Conibeer, Gavin and Thelander, Claes and Pistol, Mats Erik and Linke, Heiner},
  issn         = {1530-6984},
  keyword      = {heterostructure nanowires,hot carriers,III-V,photodetectors,Photothermoelectric effect},
  language     = {eng},
  month        = {07},
  number       = {7},
  pages        = {4055--4060},
  publisher    = {The American Chemical Society},
  series       = {Nano Letters},
  title        = {Bipolar Photothermoelectric Effect Across Energy Filters in Single Nanowires},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b00536},
  volume       = {17},
  year         = {2017},
}