Synthesis of germanium nanowires by vapor transport and fabrication of fully transparent flexible photodetectors

Aksoy, Burcu
Nanomaterials are widely investigated by researches and because of their unique properties they have been utilized in many different devices. Nanowires are one of these materials which show deviated mechanical, chemical, physical and optical, properties from their bulk counterparts. These deviations in properties of the nanowires are based on both their high surface to volume ratio and quantum confinement effect. Lately optical properties of nanowires have received great attention as they also exhibit good light sensitivity. Germanium is a semiconductor, which has been used widely as an active material in infrared light detectors. Due to excellent light detection of germanium its nanostructures have also been widely studied in optoelectronic devices. Germanium nanowires have been used in many devices such as field effect transistors, diodes, field emitters and photodetectors. Synthesis of high quality and high aspect ratio germanium nanowires could make important contributions to these devices. There are several synthesis methods for germanium nanowires. These are electrochemical etching, solvothermal, supercritical v fluidic, laser ablation, chemical vapor deposition and vapor transport methods. Among these methods, high quality, single crystalline, defect free germanium nanowires using accessible solid powder precursors could be synthesized with vapor transport method. In the first part of this thesis, germanium nanowire growth with vapor transport method is investigated. One of the most advantageous features of this method is using solid powder precursors instead of toxic gases. Until now, three different kinds of solid germanium precursors have been reported in vapor transport method, all of them are investigated and the resulting nanowires are compared in this thesis. Vapor transport method enables high control over the morphology of the nanowires. The most important parameters which affect the morphology of the nanowires are temperature, pressure and precursor type. Therefore, a detailed parametric study is provided based on these parameters and their effect on the final diameter of the nanowires is determined. The as –synthesized nanowires contain a very thick oxide layer on their surface. Therefore, oxide removal with acid etching is also investigated in this thesis. In the second part of this thesis, utilization of the germanium nanowire networks in fully transparent, flexible and network enhanced photodetectors is investigated. In order to obtain a germanium nanowire network, the as-synthesized nanowires are transferred from growth substrate to the device substrate by sonication and vacuum filtration. Silver nanowires and single walled carbon nanotubes are used as fully transparent electrodes. Both rigid and flexible photodetectors are fabricated and their current-voltage characteristics and photoresponse behaviors with different germanium nanowire densities are determined.
Citation Formats
B. Aksoy, “Synthesis of germanium nanowires by vapor transport and fabrication of fully transparent flexible photodetectors,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2012.