On the interface properties of ZnO/Si electroluminescent diodes

J. L. Pau, J. Piqueras, D. J. Rogers, F. Hosseini Teherani, K. Minder, R. McClintock, M. Razeghi

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18 Scopus citations


ZnO layers grown on n- -Si (100), n+ -Si (100), and n- -Si (111) substrates by pulsed-laser deposition were found to give electroluminescence. Light emission was observed in the form of discrete spots for currents over 1 mA with a white appearance to the naked eye. The intensity of these spots showed an erratic behavior over time, appearing and disappearing at random, while showing an associated random telegraph noise in the current signal. Regardless the substrate used, the electroluminescence spectra had a main broadband emission centered at about 600 nm and a relatively small peak at around 380 nm which corresponds to the energy of ZnO near band edge emission. Furthermore, the devices exhibited rectifying characteristics, whose current blocking direction depended on the substrate orientation. Optimization of ZnO conductivity and performing sample growth in N2 ambient were found to be critical to enhance the emission intensity. Rutherford backscattering characterization revealed the existence of an intermixed region at the interface between ZnO and Si. To study the electronic properties at the interface, frequency dependent capacitance measurements were carried out. The junction capacitance became frequency dependent at the bias voltages at which light emission occurs due to the relatively slow trapping and generation processes at deep centers. These centers are believed to play an important role in the mechanism of light emission.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number033719
JournalJournal of Applied Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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