High-performance ultraviolet light detection using nano-scale-fin isolation AlGaN/GaN heterostructures with ZnO nanorods

Fasihullah Khan, Waqar Khan, Sam Dong Kim (Corresponding Author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

27 Citations (Scopus)


Owing to their intrinsic wide bandgap properties ZnO and GaN materials are widely used for fabricating passive-type visible-blind ultraviolet (UV) photodetectors (PDs). However, most of these PDs have a very low spectral responsivity R, which is not sufficient for detecting very low-level UV signals. We demonstrate an active type UV PD with a ZnO nanorod (NR) structure for the floating gate of AlGaN/GaN high electron mobility transistor (HEMT), where the AlGaN/GaN epitaxial layers are isolated by the nano-scale fins (NFIs) of two different fin widths (70 and 80 nm). In the dark condition, oxygen adsorbed at the surface of the ZnO NRs generates negative gate potential. Upon UV light illumination, the negative charge on the ZnO NRs is reduced due to desorption of oxygen, and this reversible process controls the source-drain carrier transport property of HEMT based PDs. The NFI PDs of a 70 nm fin width show the highest R of a ~3.2 × 10 7 A/W at 340 nm wavelength among the solid-state UV PDs reported to date. We also compare the performances of NFI PDs with those of conventional mesa isolation (MI, 40 × 100 µm 2 ). NFI devices show ~100 times enhanced R and on-off current ratio than those of MI devices. Due to the volume effect of the small active region, a much faster response speed (rise-up and fall-off times of 0.21 and 1.05 s) is also obtained from the NFI PDs with a 70 nm fin width upon the UV on-off transient.

Original languageEnglish
Article number440
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • High-responsivity
  • Nano-scale fin isolation
  • Two-dimensional electron gas
  • Ultraviolet photodetectors
  • Visible-blind
  • Wide-band gap semiconductors
  • ZnO nanorods


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