Au nanorods-semiconductor nanowire hybrid nanostructures : nanofabrication techniques and optoelectronic properties

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Pescaglini, Andrea
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University College Cork
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The objective of this thesis is the exploration and characterization of novel Au nanorod-semiconductor nanowire hybrid nanostructures. I provide a comprehensive bottom-up approach in which, starting from the synthesis and theoretical investigation of the optical properties of Au nanorods, I design, nanofabricate and characterize Au nanorods-semiconductor nanowire hybrid nanodevices with novel optoelectronic capabilities compared to the non-hybrid counterpart. In this regards, I first discuss the seed-mediated protocols to synthesize Au nanorods with different sizes and the influence of nanorod geometries and non-homogeneous surrounding medium on the optical properties investigated by theoretical simulation. Novel methodologies for assembling Au nanorods on (i) a Si/SiO2 substrate with highly-ordered architecture and (ii) on semiconductor nanowires with spatial precision are developed and optimized. By exploiting these approaches, I demonstrate that Raman active modes of an individual ZnO nanowire can be detected in non-resonant conditions by exploring the longitudinal plasmonic resonance mediation of chemical-synthesized Au nanorods deposited on the nanowire surface otherwise not observable on bare ZnO nanowire. Finally, nanofabrication and detailed electrical characterization of ZnO nanowire field-effect transistor (FET) and optoelectronic properties of Au nanorods - ZnO nanowire FET tunable near-infrared photodetector are investigated. In particular we demonstrated orders of magnitude enhancement in the photocurrent intensity in the explored range of wavelengths and 40 times faster time response compared to the bare ZnO FET detector. The improved performance, attributed to the plasmonicmediated hot-electron generation and injection mechanism underlying the photoresponse is investigated both experimentally and theoretically. The miniaturized, tunable and integrated capabilities offered by metal nanorodssemicondictor nanowire device architectures presented in this thesis work could have an important impact in many application fields such as opto-electronic sensors, photodetectors and photovoltaic devices and open new avenues for designing of novel nanoscale optoelectronic devices.
Nanorods , Nanowire , Hot electrons , SERS , Plasmonics
Pescaglini, A. 2014. Au nanorods-semiconductor nanowire hybrid nanostructures : nanofabrication techniques and optoelectronic properties. PhD Thesis, University College Cork.