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Concept: N-type semiconductor


Cu2O p-type semiconductor hollow porous microspheres have been prepared by using a simple soft-template method at room temperature. The morphology of as-synthesized samples is hollow spherical structures with the diameter ranging from 200 to 500 nm, and the surfaces of the spheres are rough, porous and with lots of channels and folds. The photocatalytic activity of degradation of methyl orange (MO) under visible light irradiation was investigated by UV-visible spectroscopy. The results show that the hollow porous Cu2O particles were uniform in diameters and have an excellent ability in visible light-induced degradation of MO. Meanwhile, the growth mechanism of the prepared Cu2O was also analyzed. We find that sodium dodecyl sulfate acted the role of soft templates in the synthesis process. The hollow porous structure was not only sensitive to the soft template but also to the amount of reagents.

Concepts: Spectroscopy, Light, Electromagnetic radiation, Semiconductor, Visible spectrum, Semiconductors, P-type semiconductor, N-type semiconductor


We report on p-type conductivity in antimony (Sb)-doped ZnO (ZnO:Sb) nanorods which have self-corrugated surfaces. The p-ZnO:Sb/n-ZnO nanorod diode shows good rectification characteristics, confirming that a p-n homojunction is formed in the ZnO nanorod diode. The low-temperature photoluminescence (PL) spectra of the ZnO:Sb nanorods reveal that the p-type conductivity in p-ZnO:Sb is related to the Sb(Zn)-2V(Zn) complex acceptors. Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) analysis of the ZnO:Sb nanorods also shows that the p-type conductivity is attributed to the Sb(Zn)-2V(Zn) complex acceptors which can be easily formed near the self-corrugated surface regions of ZnO:Sb nanorods. These results suggest that the Sb(Zn)-2V(Zn) complex acceptors are mainly responsible for the p-type conductivity in ZnO:Sb nanorods which have corrugated surfaces.

Concepts: Electron, Vacuum tube, Nanotechnology, Semiconductor, Transmission electron microscopy, Diode, N-type semiconductor, Riemann surface


By bringing an anodically biased needle electrode into contact with n-type Si at its tip in a solution containing hydrofluoric acid, Si is etched at the interface with the needle electrode and a pore is formed. However, in the case of p-type Si, although pores can be formed, Si is likely to be corroded and covered with a microporous Si layer. This is due to injection of holes from the needle electrode into the bulk of p-type Si, which shifts its potential to a level more positive than the potential needed for corrosion and formation of a microporous Si layer. However, by applying square-wave potential pulses to a Pt needle electrode, these undesirable changes are prevented because holes injected into the bulk of Si during the period of anodic potential are annihilated with electrons injected into Si during the period of cathodic potential. Even under such conditions, holes supplied to the place near the Si/metal interface are used for etching p-type Si, leading to formation of a pore at the place where the Pt needle electrode was in contact.

Concepts: Semiconductor, Diode, P-type semiconductor, N-type semiconductor, Hydrofluoric acid


Solar photoconversion in semiconductors is driven by charge separation at the interface of the semiconductor and contacting layers. Here we demonstrate that time-resolved photoinduced reflectance from a semiconductor captures interfacial carrier dynamics. We applied this transient photoreflectance method to study charge transfer at p-type gallium-indium phosphide (p-GaInP2) interfaces critically important to solar-driven water splitting. We monitored the formation and decay of transient electric fields that form upon photoexcitation within bare p-GaInP2, p-GaInP2/platinum (Pt), and p-GaInP2/amorphous titania (TiO2) interfaces. The data show that a field at both the p-GaInP2/Pt and p-GaInP2/TiO2 interfaces drives charge separation. Additionally, the charge recombination rate at the p-GaInP2/TiO2 interface is greatly reduced owing to its p-n nature, compared with the Schottky nature of the p-GaInP2/Pt interface.

Concepts: Electron, Semiconductor, Solar cell, Diode, Object-oriented programming, Semiconductors, P-n junction, N-type semiconductor


The p-n junction diode and field-effect transistor are the two most ubiquitous building blocks of modern electronics and optoelectronics. In recent years, the emergence of reduced dimensionality materials has suggested that these components can be scaled down to atomic thicknesses. Although high-performance field-effect devices have been achieved from monolayered materials and their heterostructures, a p-n heterojunction diode derived from ultrathin materials is notably absent and constrains the fabrication of complex electronic and optoelectronic circuits. Here we demonstrate a gate-tunable p-n heterojunction diode using semiconducting single-walled carbon nanotubes (SWCNTs) and single-layer molybdenum disulfide as p-type and n-type semiconductors, respectively. The vertical stacking of these two direct band gap semiconductors forms a heterojunction with electrical characteristics that can be tuned with an applied gate bias to achieve a wide range of charge transport behavior ranging from insulating to rectifying with forward-to-reverse bias current ratios exceeding 10(4). This heterojunction diode also responds strongly to optical irradiation with an external quantum efficiency of 25% and fast photoresponse <15 μs. Because SWCNTs have a diverse range of electrical properties as a function of chirality and an increasing number of atomically thin 2D nanomaterials are being isolated, the gate-tunable p-n heterojunction concept presented here should be widely generalizable to realize diverse ultrathin, high-performance electronics and optoelectronics.

Concepts: Semiconductor, Transistor, Carbon nanotube, Diode, Semiconductors, P-n junction, N-type semiconductor, Heterojunction


Carrier transport characteristics in high-efficiency Single-Walled Carbon Nanotubes (SWNTs)/Silicon (Si) hybrid solar cells are presented. The solar cells were fabricated by depositing intrinsic p-type SWNT thin-films on n-type Si wafers without involving any high-temperature process for p-n junction formation. The optimized cells showed a device ideality factor close to unity and a record-high power-conversion-efficiency of >11 %. By investigating the dark forward current density characteristics with varying temperature, we have identified that the temperature-dependent current rectification originates from the thermally activated band-to-band transition of carriers in Si, and the role of the SWNT thin films is to establish a built-in potential for carrier separation/collection. We have also established that the dominant carrier transport mechanism is diffusion, with minimal interface recombination. This is further supported by the observation of a long minority carrier lifetime of ~ 34 µs, determined by the transient recovery method. This study suggests that these hybrid solar cells operate in the same manner as single crystalline p-n homojunction Si solar cells.

Concepts: Electric current, Semiconductor, Carbon nanotube, Solar cell, Diode, Semiconductors, P-n junction, N-type semiconductor


Solution-processed n-type organic field-effect transistors (OFETs) are essential elements for developing large-area, low-cost, and all organic logic/complementary circuits. Nonetheless, the development of air-stable n-type organic semiconductors (OSC) lags behind their p-type counterparts. The trapping of electrons at the semiconductor-dielectric interface leads to a lower performance and operational stability. Herein we report printed small molecule n-type OFETs based on a blend with a binder polymer, which enhances the device stability due to the improvement of the semiconductor-dielectric interface quality and a self-encapsulation. Both combined effects prevent the fast oxidation of the OSC. Additionally, a CMOS-like inverter is fabricated depositing a p-type and n-type OSCs simultaneously.

Concepts: Electron, Semiconductor, Transistor, Germanium, Diode, P-n junction, P-type semiconductor, N-type semiconductor


The ecofriendly synthesis of organic semiconductors with heterojunctions is of interest and requires surfactants to stabilize colloidal nanoparticles (NPs) in aqueous solution. The use of conventional surfactants results in p-n heterostructured NPs, in which both p- and n-type semiconductors are phase separated and confined within a core surrounded by the surfactant shell. The performances of these devices, however, are not comparable to those of solid organic semiconductor films. Further efforts are required to understand and control the morphological structure of the nanoparticles to improve their performances. Here, by using a new class of polyethyleneglycol-based surfactant, PEG-C60, we synthesized unique p-n heterostructured water-borne NPs that comprise a p-type semiconductor core and an n-type PEG-C60 shell. We demonstrate that the morphology gives rise to charge separation superior to conventional water-borne NPs. These PEG-C60-based water-borne NPs can, thus, provide a new paradigm in the current field of water-based organic semiconductor colloids.

Concepts: Semiconductor, Emulsion, Solution, Diode, Semiconductors, P-n junction, P-type semiconductor, N-type semiconductor


A complete photoelectrochemical (PEC) water splitting system requires a photocathode and a photoanode to host water oxidation and reduction reactions, respectively. It is thus important to search for efficient photoelectrodes capable of full water splitting. Herein, we report on an exploratory study of a new photoelectrode family of ZnxPbOy-ZnPbO3and Zn2PbO4-similarly synthesized by a simple and economical method and shown to be a promising photocathode (p-type semiconductor) and photoanode (n-type semiconductor), respectively. From PEC measurements, the bare ZnPbO3photocathode achieved a photocurrent density of -0.94 mA/cm2at 0 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE), whereas the pristine Zn2PbO4photoanode delivered a photocurrent density of 0.51 mA/cm2at 1.23 V versus RHE. By depositing suitable cocatalysts onto the photoelectrodes established above, we also demonstrated unassisted overall PEC water splitting, a rare case, if any, wherein a single material system is compositionally engineered for either of the photoelectrodes.

Concepts: Hydrogen, Redox, Electrochemistry, Semiconductor, Electrolysis, Diode, P-type semiconductor, N-type semiconductor


Heterostructures comprising two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors fabricated by individual stacking exhibit interesting characteristics owing to their 2D nature and atomically sharp interface. As an emerging 2D material, black phosphorus (BP) nanosheets have drawn much attention due to their small band gap semiconductor characteristics along with high mobility. Stacking structures composed of p-type BP and n-type transition metal dichalcogenides can produce an atomically sharp interface with van der Waals interaction which leads to p-n diode functionality. In this study, for the first time, we fabricated a heterojunction p-n diode composed of BP and WS2. The rectification effects are examined for mono-layer, bi-layer, tri-layer, and multi-layer WS2flakes in our BP/WS2van der Waals heterojunction diodes and also verified by density function theory calculations. We report superior functionalities as compared to other van der Waals heterojunction, such as efficient gate-dependent static rectification of 2.6×104, temperature dependence, thickness dependence of rectification and ideality factor of the device. The temperature dependence of Zener breakdown voltage and avalanche breakdown voltage were analyzed in the same device. Additionally, superior optoelectronic characteristics such as photoresponsivity of 500 mA/W and external quantum efficiency of 103% are achieved in the BP/WS2van der Waals p-n diode, which is unprecedented for BP/transition metal dichalcogenides heterostructures. The BP/WS2van der Waals p-n diodes have a profound potential to fabricate rectifiers, solar cells and photovoltaic diodes in 2D semiconductor electronics and optoelectronics.

Concepts: Semiconductor, Solar cell, Diode, Band gap, P-n junction, N-type semiconductor, Zener diode, Avalanche diode