Photoconductivity of individual aluminum nitride (AlN) nanowires has been characterized using different subband gap excitation sources. It is interesting that both positive (under 1.53 and 2.33 eV excitations) and negative (under 3.06 and 3.81 eV excitations) photocurrent responses are observed from the wide band gap nitride nanowires. The negative photoconductivity, which is attributed to the presence of electron trap and recombination center in the bulk of AlN, is capable to be inversed by a strong positive photoconductive mechanism of surface while changes the ambience from the atmosphere to the vacuum. An oxygen molecular sensitization effect is proposed to be the reason resulting in the enhancement of positive photocurrent and the inversion of negative photoresponse in the vacuum. Understanding of the diverse photoconductivity and its molecular effect is of great importance in the development of energy-selective and highly sensitive nanowire photodetector of AlN in the visible and ultraviolet ranges.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)