2, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, United States
Silicon underpins nearly all microelectronics today and will continue to do so for some decades to come. However, for silicon photonics, the indirect band gap of silicon and lack of adjustability severely limit its use in applications such as broadband photodiodes. Here, a high-performance p-Si/n-ZnO broadband photodiode working in a wide wavelength range from visible to near-infrared light with high sensitivity, fast response, and good stability is reported. The absorption of near-infrared wavelength light is significantly enhanced due to the nanostructured/textured top surface. The general performance of the broadband photodiodes can be further improved by the piezo-phototronic effect. The enhancement of responsivity can reach a maximum of 78% to 442 nm illumination, the linearity and saturation limit to 1060 nm light are also significantly increased by applying external strains. The photodiode is illuminated with different wavelength lights to selectively choose the photogenerated charge carriers (either electrons or holes) passing through the depletion region, to investigate the piezo-phototronic effect on electron or hole transport separately for the first time. This is essential for studying the basic principles in order to develop a full understanding about piezotronics and it also enables the development of the better performance of optoelectronics.