Semiconductor nanowires could significantly boost the functionality and performance of future electronics, light-emitting diodes and solar cells. However, realizing this potential requires growth methods that enable high-throughput and low-cost production of nanowires with controlled doping. Aerotaxy is an aerosol-based method with extremely high growth rate that does not require a growth substrate, allowing mass-production of high-quality nanowires at a low cost. So far, pn- junctions, a crucial element of solar cells and light-emitting diodes, have not been realized by Aerotaxy growth. Here we report a further development of the Aerotaxy method and demonstrate the growth of GaAs nanowire pn-junctions. Our Aerotaxy system uses an aerosol generator for producing the catalytic seed particles, together with a growth reactor with multiple consecutive chambers for growth of material with different dopants. We show that the produced nanowire pn-junctions have excellent diode characteristics with a rectification ratio of >105, an ideality factor around 2 and very promising photo-response. Using electron beam induced current and hyperspectral cathodoluminescence, we determined the location of the pn-junction and show that the grown nanowires have high doping levels, as well as electrical properties and diffusion lengths comparable to nanowires grown using metal organic vapor phase epitaxy. Our findings demonstrate that high-quality GaAs nanowire pn-junctions can be produced using a low-cost technique suitable for mass-production, paving the way for industrial-scale production of nanowire-based solar cells.
E. Barrigón, O. Hultin, D. Lindgren, F. Yadegari, M. H. Magnusson, L. Samuelson, L. I. M. Johansson, M.T. Björk.
Read full paper at http://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.nanolett.7b04609