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Performance of RF sputtered p-Si/n-ZnO nanoparticle thin film heterojunction diodes in high temperature environment

ABSTRACT

In this article, temperature-dependent current-voltage characteristics of n-ZnO/p-Si nanoparticle thin film heterojunction diode grown by RF sputtering technique are analyzed in the temperature range of 300–433 k to investigate the performance of the device in high temperature environment. The microstructural, morphological, optical and temptrature dependent electrical properties of as-grown nanoparticle thin film were characterized by X-ray diffractometer (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM), field emmision scanning electron microscopy (FESEM), energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDX), variable angle ellipsometer and semiconductor device analyzer. XRD spectra of as-grown ZnO films are exhibited that highly c-axis oriented ZnO nanostructures are grown on p- Si〈100〉 substrate whereas AFM and FESEM images confirm the homogeneous deposition of ZnO nanoparticles on surface of Si substratewith minimum roughness.The optical propertiesof as-grown ZnO nanoparticles have been measured in the spectral range of 300–800 nm using variable angle ellipsometer.To measure electrical parameters of the device prototype in the temperature range of room temperature (300 K) to 433 K, large area ohmic contacts were fabricated on both side of the ZnO/Si heterostructure. From the current-voltage charcteristics of ZnO/Si heterojunction device, it is observed that the device exhibits rectifing nature at room temperature. However, with increase in temperature, reverse saturation current and barrier height are found to increase, whereas ideality factor is started decreasing. This phenomenon confirms that barrier inhomogeneities are present at the interface of ZnO/Si heterojunction, as a result of lattice constant and thermal coefficient mismatch between Si and ZnO. Therefore, a modified value of Richardson constant [33.06 Acm−2K−2] has been extracted from the temperature-dependent electrical characteristics after assuming the Gaussian distribution of special barrier height inhomogeneities across the Si/ZnO interface which is close to its theoretical value [32 Acm−2K−2]. This result indicates that regardless of presence of barrier height inmogeneities, ZnO/Si heterojunction diode still hasability to perform well in high temperature environment.

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