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Title: A Silicon-Based Quantum Mechanical Tunnel Junction for Plasmon Excitation from Low-Energy Electron Tunneling
Authors: Wang Fangwei
Thorin Jake Duffin
Wenrui Hu
Keywords: Tunnel junctions
Plasmon excitation
Hybrid plasmon modes
Metal-insulator-silicon junction
Carrier concentration
Issue Date: 22-Mar-2021
Publisher: ACS Publications
Citation: Wang Fangwei, LIU YAN, Thorin Jake Duffin, VIJITH KALATHINGAL, GAO SIPING, Wenrui Hu, GUO YONGXIN, CHUA SOO JIN, NIJHUIS,CHRISTIAN ALBERTUS (2021-03-22). A Silicon-Based Quantum Mechanical Tunnel Junction for Plasmon Excitation from Low-Energy Electron Tunneling. ACS photonics. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Rights: CC0 1.0 Universal
Abstract: Light emission from metal-insulator-semiconductor junctions (MISJs) has been explored for decades as a possible on-chip light source, however it is not clear whether the mechanism of light emission is plasmonic in nature or is dominated by electroluminescence. Previous studies only investigated silicon with low doping levels, but here we show that only highly doped silicon allows us to excite surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) in MISJs via inelastic tunneling. This paper describes the mechanism of charge transport and light emission from silicon-based Au/SiO2/nSi MISJs as a function of the doping level Nd varying from 1.6  1015 cm-3 to 1.0  1020 cm-3. At low doping levels (Nd ~ 1015 cm-3), the MISJs behave as Schottky diodes and the mechanism of light emission involves radiative recombination of electrons and holes from minority carrier injection under high applied bias (> 5.5 V). With increasing doping levels, the current-voltage characteristics of the MISJs change resulting in symmetrical current-voltage curves with parabolic conductance behaviour characteristic of quantum mechanical tunneling. MISJs with the highest doping level (Nd ~ 1020 cm-3) are dominated by quantum mechanical tunneling and light emission originates from radiative decay of surface plasmon polaritons (SPPs) via scattering at threshold voltages as low as 1.5 V. Our simulations indicate that tunneling over the thin SiO2 barrier between the Au and highly doped nSi excites a hybrid SPP mode localized to the Au whose dispersion depends on the effective index induced by the SiO2-nSi interface. Our studies show that Si needs to be sufficiently doped to be conductive enough to enable SPP excitation via inelastic tunneling.
Source Title: ACS photonics
ISSN: 2330-4022
Rights: CC0 1.0 Universal
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