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Quantum-confined nanowires as vehicles for enhanced electrical transport.
Electrical transport in semiconductor nanowires taking quantum confinement and dielectric confinement into account has been studied. A distinctly new route has been employed for the study. The fundamental science underlying the model is based on a relationship between the quantum confinement and the structural disorder of the nanowire surface. The role of surface energy and thermodynamic imbalance in nanowire structural disorder has been described. A model for the diameter dependence of energy bandgap of nanowires has been developed. Ionized impurity scattering, dislocation scattering and acoustic phonon scattering have been taken into account to study carrier mobility. A series of calculations on silicon nanowires show that carrier mobility in nanowires can be greatly enhanced by quantum confinement and dielectric confinement. The electron mobility can, for example, be a factor of 2-10 higher at room temperature than the mobility in a free-standing silicon nanowire. The calculated results agree well with almost all experimental and theoretical results available in the literature. They successfully explain experimental observations not understood before. The model is general and applicable to nanowires from all possible semiconductors. It is perhaps the first physical model highlighting the impact of both quantum confinement and dielectric confinement on carrier transport. It underscores the basic causes of thin, lowly doped nanowires in the temperature range 200 K ≤ T ≤ 500 K yielding very high carrier mobility. It suggests that the scattering by dislocations (stacking faults) can be very detrimental for carrier mobility.
Pub Type(s)Journal Article