Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Microelectronics-Photonics (PhD)

Degree Level



Graduate School


Taeksoo Ji

Committee Member

Simon Ang

Second Committee Member

Z. Ryan Tian

Third Committee Member

Shui-Qing (Fisher) Yu

Fourth Committee Member

Kenneth Vickers


This research work, for the first time, investigated metal semiconductor-metal (MSM) zine oxide (ZnO) nanorod based ultra-violet (UV) detectors having a Wheatstone bridge design with a high

responsivity at room temperature and above, as well as a responsivity that was largely independent of the change in ambient conditions. The ZnO nanorods which acted as the sensing element of the detector were grown by a chemical growth technique. Studies were conducted to determine the effects on ZnO nanorod properties by varying the concentration of the chemicals used for the rod growth. These studies showed how the rod diameter and the deposition of ZnO nanorods from the solution was controlled by varying the concentration of the chemicals used for the rod growth. Conventional MSM UV detectors were fabricated with ZnO nanorods grown under optimized conditions to determine the dependence of UV response on electrode dimension and rod dimension. These studies gave insights into the dependence of UV response on the width of the electrode, spacing between the electrodes, density of the rod growth, and length and diameter of the rods. The UV responsivity was affected by varying the number of times the seed layer was spin coated, by varying the spin speed of seed layer coating and by varying the annealing temperature of the seed and rod. Based on these studies, optimum conditions for the fabrication of Wheatstone bridge UV ZnO nanorod detectors were determined. The Wheatstone

bridge ZnO nanorod UV detectors were fabricated in three different configurations, namely, symmetric, asymmetric, and quasi-symmetric. The transient responses of the symmetric, asymmetric and quasi-symmetric configurations at room temperature and above showed how the response stability differed. At high temperature the responsivity of quasi-symmetric Wheatstone bridge detector configuration did not drop after saturation and the responsivity drifted by 17% to 25% from the room temperature response.The responsivity of quasisymmetric Wheatstone bridge configuration with good temperature stability was 1.16 A/W, while those of conventional MSM UV detectors were approximately 60 A/W. However, the quasi-symmetric Wheatstone bridge with responsivity 1.16 A/W was higher than the commercially available detector having responsivity of only about 0.1 A/W. Though the response of quasi-symmetric Wheatstone bridge detector was higher than the detectors available

commercially, the response time was very high. The response time of quasi-symmetric Wheatstone bridge was approximately 159 seconds at room temperature, while that of commercially available detectors is of the order of microseconds. If the quasi-symmetric

Wheatstone bridge has to compete with current commercially available detectors, then the response time should be brought down from seconds to microseconds. Based on these studies, an

improved design of the quasi-symmetric Wheatstone bridge UV detector with the ZnO rods oriented parallel to the substrate instead of oriented vertical to the substrate was proposed.