We report electroluminescence (EL) measurements carried out on three-terminal devices incorporating individual n-type CdSe nanowires. Simultaneous optical and electrical measurements reveal that EL occurs near the contact between the nanowire and a positively biased electrode or drain. The surface potential profile, obtained by using Kelvin probe microscopy, shows an abrupt potential drop near the position of the EL spot, while the band profile obtained from scanning photocurrent microscopy indicates the existence of an n-type Schottky barrier at the interface. These observations indicate that light emission occurs through a hole leakage or an inelastic scattering induced by the rapid potential drop at the nanowire-electrode interface.
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