Tuning the Photoresponse of Nano-Heterojunction: Pressure-Induced Inverse Photoconductance in Functionalized WO3 Nanocuboids

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Abstract

Inverse photoconductivity (IPC) is a unique photoresponse behavior that exists in few photoconductors in which electrical conductivity decreases with irradiation, and has great potential applications in the development of photonic devices and nonvolatile memories with low power consumption. However, it is still challenging to design and achieve IPC in most materials of interest. In this study, pressure-driven photoconductivity is investigated in n-type WO3 nanocuboids functionalized with p-type CuO nanoparticles under visible illumination and an interesting pressure-induced IPC accompanying a structural phase transition is found. Native and structural distortion induced oxygen vacancies assist the charge carrier trapping and favor the persistent positive photoconductivity beyond 6.4 GPa. The change in photoconductivity is mainly related to a phase transition and the associated changes in the bandgap, the trapping of charge carriers, the WO6 octahedral distortion, and the electron–hole pair recombination process. A unique reversible transition from positive to inverse photoconductivity is observed during compression and decompression. The origin of the IPC is intimately connected to the depletion of the conduction channels by electron trapping and the chromic property of WO3. This synergistic rationale may afford a simple and powerful method to improve the optomechanical performance of any hybrid material.

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Rahman, S., Samanta, S., Kuzmin, A., Errandonea, D., Saqib, H., Brewe, D. L., … Wang, L. (2019). Tuning the Photoresponse of Nano-Heterojunction: Pressure-Induced Inverse Photoconductance in Functionalized WO3 Nanocuboids. Advanced Science, 6(19). https://doi.org/10.1002/advs.201901132

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