Wide band gap, semiconductors, zno, gan, nanowires, radiation, neutron, electron beam induced current, cathodoluminescence


In this research, the transport properties of ZnO were studied through the use of electron and neutron beam irradiation. Acceptor states are known to form deep in the bandgap of doped ZnO material. By subjecting doped ZnO materials to electron and neutron beams we are able to probe, identify and modify transport characteristics relating to these deep accepter states. The impact of irradiation and temperature on minority carrier diffusion length and lifetime were monitored through the use of the Electron Beam Induced Current (EBIC) method and Cathodoluminescence (CL) spectroscopy. The minority carrier diffusion length, L, was shown to increase as it was subjected to increasing temperature as well as continuous electron irradiation. The near-band-edge (NBE) intensity in CL measurements was found to decay as a function of temperature and electron irradiation due to an increase in carrier lifetime. Electron injection through application of a forward bias also resulted in a similar increase of minority carrier diffusion length. Thermal and electron irradiation dependences were used to determine activation energies for the irradiation induced effects. This helps to further our understanding of the electron injection mechanism as well as to identify possible defects responsible for the observed effects. Thermal activation energies likely represent carrier delocalization energy and are related to the increase of diffusion length due to the reduction in recombination efficiency. The effect of electron irradiation on the minority carrier diffusion length and lifetime can be attributed to the trapping of non-equilibrium electrons on neutral acceptor levels. The effect of neutron irradiation on CL intensity can be attributed to an increase in shallow donor concentration. Thermal activation energies resulting from an increase in L or decay of CL intensity monitored through EBIC and CL measurements for p-type Sb doped ZnO were found to be the range of Ea = 112 to 145 meV. P-type Sb doped ZnO nanowires under the influence of temperature and electron injection either through continuous beam impacting or through forward bias, displayed an increase in L and corresponding decay of CL intensity when observed by EBIC or CL measurements. These measurements led to activation energies for the effect ranging from Ea = 217 to 233 meV. These values indicate the possible involvement of a SbZn-2VZn acceptor complex. For N-type unintentionally doped ZnO, CL measurements under the influence of temperature and electron irradiation by continuous beam impacting led to a decrease in CL intensity which resulted in an electron irradiation activation energy of approximately Ea = 259 meV. This value came close to the defect energy level of the zinc interstitial. CL measurements of neutron irradiated ZnO nanostructures revealed that intensity is redistributed in favor of the NBE transition indicating an increase of shallow donor concentration. With annealing contributing to the improvement of crystallinity, a decrease can be seen in the CL intensity due to the increase in majority carrier lifetime. Low energy emission seen from CL spectra can be due to oxygen vacancies and as an indicator of radiation defects.


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Graduation Date





Flitsiyan, Elena


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program









Release Date

May 2012

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

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