Barrier heights between metal contacts and silicon nanowires were measured using spectrally resolved scanning photocurrent microscopy (SPCM). Illumination of the metal-semiconductor junction with sub-bandgap photons generates a photocurrent dominated by internal photoemission of hot electrons. Analysis of the dependence of photocurrent yield on photon energy enables quantitative extraction of the barrier height. Enhanced doping near the nanowire surface, mapped quantitatively with atom probe tomography, results in a lowering of the effective barrier height. Occupied interface states produce an additional lowering that depends strongly on diameter. The doping and diameter dependencies are explained quantitatively with finite element modeling. The combined tomography, electrical characterization, and numerical modeling approach represents a significant advance in the quantitative analysis of transport mechanisms at nanoscale interfaces that can be extended to other nanoscale devices and heterostructures.
- hot electrons
- internal photoemission
- metal semiconductor interface
- Schottky barrier