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Electrically Driven Ultraviolet Lasing From ZnO Nano/Microwire Based Devices


Electrically driven optoelectronic devices based on ZnO nano/microstructures have been presented in this dissertation. First, an electrically pumped Sb-doped ZnO nanowire/Ga-doped ZnO p–n homojunction random laser is demonstrated. Catalyst-free Sb-doped ZnO nanowires were grown on a Ga-doped ZnO thin film on a Si substrate by chemical vapor deposition. The morphology of the as-grown titled nanowires was observed by scanning electron microscopy. X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy results indicated the incorporation of Sb dopants. Shallow acceptor states of Sb-doped nanowires were confirmed by photoluminescence measurements. Current–voltage measurements of ZnO nanowire structures assembled from p- and n-type materials showed a typical p–n diode characteristic with a threshold voltage of about 7.5 V. Very good photoresponse was observed in the UV region operated at 0 V and different reverse biases. Random lasing behavior with a low-threshold current of around 10 mA was demonstrated at room temperature. The output power was 170 nW at 30 mA. In chapter 4, Au/ZnO microwire Schottky diode lasers are discussed. The devices exhibit typical Schottky diode I–V behavior with a turn-on voltage of about 0.72 V. The hexagonal ZnO microwires act as whispering gallery mode (WGM) lasing microcavities. Under forward bias, a three-microwire device exhibits WGM ultraviolet lasing spectra with a quality factor of about 1287. Output power of the laser has been measured at various injection currents, indicating threshold behavior with a threshold current of about 59 mA. Due to limited hole injection in the operation of Schottky diode, the lasing is a result of an excitonic recombination within the WGM cavity. Finally, in Chapter 5, an electrically pumped ultraviolet random laser based on an Au-ZnO nanowire Schottky junction on top of a SiO2/SiNx distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) has been fabricated. Electrical characterization shows typical Schottky diode current-voltage characteristics. Evident random lasing behavior is observed from electroluminescence measurement at room temperature. In comparison with a reference device having similar nanowire morphology but no DBR, this laser demonstrates almost 1.8 times reduction in threshold current and 4 times enhancement in output power. The performance enhancement originates from the incorporation of the DBR structure, which provides high reflectivity in the designed wavelength range.

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