The Role of Surface Roughness in Plasmonic-Assisted Internal Photoemission Schottky Photodetectors

Meir Grajower, Uriel Levy, Jacob B. Khurgin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Scopus citations


Internal photoemission of charged carriers from metal to semiconductors plays an important role in diverse fields such as sub-bandgap photodetectors and catalysis. Typically, the quantum efficiency of this process is relatively low, posing a stringent limitation on its applicability. Here, we show that the efficiency of hot carrier injection from a metal into a semiconductor across a Schottky barrier can be enhanced by as much as an order of magnitude in the presence of surface roughness on the scale of a few atomic layers. Our results are obtained using a simple semianalytical theory and indicate that properly engineered plasmonic-assisted internal photoemission photodetectors can be a viable alternative in silicon photonics. Other applications, such as plasmonic-enhanced photocatalysis, can also benefit from these results.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)4030-4036
Number of pages7
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number10
StatePublished - 17 Oct 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2018 American Chemical Society.


  • Schottky barrier
  • internal photoemission
  • photodetectors
  • plasmonics
  • scattering
  • surface enhancement


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