Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Microelectronics-Photonics (MS)

Degree Level





Ryan Tian

Committee Member

Simon Ang

Second Committee Member

Uche Wejinya

Third Committee Member

Rick Wise


Pure sciences, Applied sciences, Interdigitated patterns, Photodetectors, UV photodetection


UV photodetection devices have many important applications for uses in biological detection, gas sensing, weaponry detection, fire detection, chemical analysis, and many others. Today’s photodetectors often utilize semiconductors such as GaAs to achieve high responsivity and sensitivity. Zinc oxide, unlike many other semiconductors, is cheap, abundant, non-toxic, and easy to grow different morphologies at the micro and nano scale. With the proliferation of these devices also comes the impending need to further study optics and photonics in relation to phononics and plasmonics, and the general principles underlying the interaction of photons with solid state matter and, specifically, semiconductors. For this research a metal-semiconductor-metal UV photodetector has been fabricated by using a quartz substrate on top of which was deposited micropatterned gold in an interdigitated electrode design. On this, sparsely coated zinc oxide nano trees were hydrothermally grown. The UV photodetection device showed promise for detection applications, especially because zinc oxide is also very thermally stable, a quality which is highly sought after in today’s UV photodetectors. Furthermore, the newly synthesized photodetector was used to investigate optical properties and how they respond to different stimuli. It was discovered that the photons transmitted through the sparsely coated zinc oxide nano trees decreased as the voltage across the device increased. This research is aimed at better understanding photons interaction with matter and also to open the door for new devices with tunable optical properties such as transmission.