Direct Observation of Photoinduced Charge Separation at Transition-Metal Nitride-Semiconductor Interfaces

Min Wen Yu, Satoshi Ishii*, Satish Laxman Shinde, Nicholaus Kevin Tanjaya, Kuo Ping Chen, Tadaaki Nagao

*Corresponding author for this work

研究成果: Article同行評審


Optically excited hot carriers from metallic nanostructures forming metal-semiconductor heterostructures are advantageous for enhancing photoelectric conversion in the sub-band gap photon energy regime. Plasmonic gold has been widely used for hot carrier excitation, but recent works have demonstrated that plasmonic transition-metal nitrides have higher efficiencies in injecting hot electrons to adjacent n-type semiconductors and are more cost-effective. To collect direct evidence of hot carrier excitation from nanostructures, imaging of hot carriers is essential. In this work, photoexcited Kelvin probe force microscopy (KPFM) is used to image hot carriers excited in transition-metal nitride nanostructures forming heterostructures with semiconductors. Among available transition-metal nitrides, we select zirconium nitride (ZrN) for this study. Additionally, both p-type and n-type titanium dioxides (TiO2) are selected to study the transport of hot holes and hot electrons. The KPFM results indicate that for ZrN and p-type TiO2 heterostructures, hot holes are injected into the p-type TiO2 across the Schottky contact. In the case of ZrN and n-type TiO2 heterostructures, hot electrons are injected into the n-type TiO2 across the ohmic contact. Because transition-metal nitrides are known to be more effective than gold at injecting hot carriers into adjacent semiconductors, unambiguously determining the mechanisms of hot carrier transportation of transition-metal nitrides using photoexcited KPFM will facilitate additional studies on hot carrier applications with transition-metal nitrides.

期刊ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces
出版狀態Accepted/In press - 2020

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