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Investigating the growth, structural, and electrical properties of III-V semiconductor nanopillars for the next-generation electronic and optoelectronic devices


Extensive research efforts have been devoted to the study and development of III-V compound semiconductor nanowires (NWs) and nanopillars (NPs) because of their unique physical properties and ability to form high quality, highly lattice-mismatched axial and radial heterostructures. These advantages lead to precise nano-bandgap engineering to achieve new device functionalities. One unique and powerful approach to realize these NPs is by catalyst-free, selective-area epitaxy (SAE) via metal-organic chemical vapor deposition, in which the NP location and diameter can be precisely controlled lithographically. Early demonstrations of electronic and optoelectronic devices based on these NPs, however, are often inferior compared to their planar counterparts due to a few factors: (1) interface/surface states, (2) inaccurate doping calibration, and (3) increased carrier scattering and trapping from stacking fault formation in the NPs. In this study, the detailed growth mechanisms of different III-As, III-Sb and III-P NPs and their heterostructures are investigated. These NPs are then fabricated into single-NP field-effect transistors (FETs) to probe their electrical properties. It is shown that these devices are highly diameter-dependent, mainly because of the effects of surface states. By growing a high band-gap shell around the NP cores to passivate the surface, the device performance can be significantly improved. Further fabrication and characterization of vertical surround-gate FETs using a high-mobility InAs/InP NP channel is also discussed. Aside from the radial NP heterostructures, different approaches to achieve purely axial heterostructures in InAs/In(As)P materials are also presented with excellent interface quality. Both single barrier and double barrier structures are realized and fabricated into devices that show carrier transport characteristics over a barrier and even resonant tunneling behavior. Antimonide-based NPs are also studied for their immense application in high-speed electronics and mid-IR optoelectronics. Different growth regimes are probed to achieve InSb NPs and InAsSb NPs.

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