ABSTRACT: There has been significant interest in using electronically contacted nanorod or nanotube arrays as gas sensors, whereby an adsorbate modifies either the impedance or the Fermi level of the array, enabling detection. Typically, such arrays demonstrate the I-V curves of a Schottky diode that is formed using a metal-semiconductor junction with rectifying characteristics. We show in this work that nanostructured Schottky diodes have a functionally different response, characteristic of the large electric field induced by the size scale of the array. Specifically, they are characterized by a low reverse breakdown voltage. As a result, the reverse bias current becomes a strong function of the applied voltage. In this work, for the first time, we model this unique feature by describing the enhancement effect of high aspect ratio nanostructures on the I-V characteristics of a Schottky diode. A Pt/ZnO/SiC nanostructured Schottky diode is fabricated to verify the theoretical equations presented. The gas sensing properties of the Schottky diode in reversed bias is investigated and it is shown that the theoretical calculations are in excellent agreement with measurements.
Nanotechnology 07/2010; 21(26):265502. · 3.98 Impact Factor