Hot electron generation by aluminum oligomers in plasmonic ultraviolet photodetectors

Opt Express. 2016 Jun 13;24(12):13665-78. doi: 10.1364/OE.24.013665.


We report on an integrated plasmonic ultraviolet (UV) photodetector composed of aluminum Fano-resonant heptamer nanoantennas deposited on a Gallium Nitride (GaN) active layer which is grown on a sapphire substrate to generate significant photocurrent via formation of hot electrons by nanoclusters upon the decay of nonequilibrium plasmons. Using the plasmon hybridization theory and finite-difference time-domain (FDTD) method, it is shown that the generation of hot carriers by metallic clusters illuminated by UV beam leads to a large photocurrent. The induced Fano resonance (FR) minimum across the UV spectrum allows for noticeable enhancement in the absorption of optical power yielding a plasmonic UV photodetector with a high responsivity. It is also shown that varying the thickness of the oxide layer (Al<sub>2</sub>O<sub>3</sub>) around the nanodisks (tox) in a heptamer assembly adjusted the generated photocurrent and responsivity. The proposed plasmonic structure opens new horizons for designing and fabricating efficient opto-electronics devices with high gain and responsivity.