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      A Comprehensive Review of Semiconductor Ultraviolet Photodetectors: From Thin Film to One-Dimensional Nanostructures


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          Ultraviolet (UV) photodetectors have drawn extensive attention owing to their applications in industrial, environmental and even biological fields. Compared to UV-enhanced Si photodetectors, a new generation of wide bandgap semiconductors, such as (Al, In) GaN, diamond, and SiC, have the advantages of high responsivity, high thermal stability, robust radiation hardness and high response speed. On the other hand, one-dimensional (1D) nanostructure semiconductors with a wide bandgap, such as β-Ga 2O 3, GaN, ZnO, or other metal-oxide nanostructures, also show their potential for high-efficiency UV photodetection. In some cases such as flame detection, high-temperature thermally stable detectors with high performance are required. This article provides a comprehensive review on the state-of-the-art research activities in the UV photodetection field, including not only semiconductor thin films, but also 1D nanostructured materials, which are attracting more and more attention in the detection field. A special focus is given on the thermal stability of the developed devices, which is one of the key characteristics for the real applications.

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          Most cited references261

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          ZnO nanowire UV photodetectors with high internal gain.

          ZnO nanowire (NW) visible-blind UV photodetectors with internal photoconductive gain as high as G approximately 108 have been fabricated and characterized. The photoconduction mechanism in these devices has been elucidated by means of time-resolved measurements spanning a wide temporal domain, from 10-9 to 102 s, revealing the coexistence of fast (tau approximately 20 ns) and slow (tau approximately 10 s) components of the carrier relaxation dynamics. The extremely high photoconductive gain is attributed to the presence of oxygen-related hole-trap states at the NW surface, which prevents charge-carrier recombination and prolongs the photocarrier lifetime, as evidenced by the sensitivity of the photocurrrent to ambient conditions. Surprisingly, this mechanism appears to be effective even at the shortest time scale investigated of t < 1 ns. Despite the slow relaxation time, the extremely high internal gain of ZnO NW photodetectors results in gain-bandwidth products (GB) higher than approximately 10 GHz. The high gain and low power consumption of NW photodetectors promise a new generation of phototransistors for applications such as sensing, imaging, and intrachip optical interconnects.
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                Author and article information

                Sensors (Basel)
                Sensors (Basel)
                Sensors (Basel, Switzerland)
                Molecular Diversity Preservation International (MDPI)
                August 2013
                13 August 2013
                : 13
                : 8
                : 10482-10518
                [1 ] International Center for Young Scientists (ICYS), National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), 1-1 Namiki, Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044, Japan
                [2 ] JST-PRESTO, the Japan Science and Technology Agency, Tokyo 102-0076, Japan
                [3 ] Optical and Electronic Materials Unit, National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-0044, Japan; E-Mails: meiyong.liao@ 123456nims.go.jp (M.L.); sumiya.masatomo@ 123456nims.go.jp (M.S.)
                [4 ] JST-ALCA, the Japan Science and Technology Agency, Tokyo 102-0076, Japan
                Author notes
                [* ] Author to whom correspondence should be addressed; E-Mail: SANG.Liwen@ 123456nims.go.jp ; Tel.: +81-298-513-354 (ext. 8652); Fax: +81-298-514-005.
                © 2013 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland.

                This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution license ( http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/).

                : 17 June 2013
                : 02 August 2013
                : 08 August 2013

                Biomedical engineering
                ultraviolet photodetector,semiconductor,thin film,one-dimensional nanostructures


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