Metal-insulator-semiconductor heterostructures for plasmonic hot-carrier optoelectronics
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Plasmonic hot-electron devices are attractive candidates for light-energy harvesting and photodetection applications. For solid state devices, the most compact and straightforward architecture is the metalsemiconductor Schottky junction. However convenient, this structure introduces limitations such as the elevated dark current associated to thermionic emission, or constraints for device design due to the finite choice of materials. In this work we theoretically consider the metalinsulator-semiconductor heterojunction as a candidate for plasmonic hotcarrier photodetection and solar cells. The presence of the insulating layer can significantly reduce the dark current, resulting in increased device performance with predicted solar power conversion efficiencies up to 9%. For photodetection, the sensitivity can be extended well into the infrared by a judicious choice of the insulating layer, with up to 300-fold expected enhancement in detectivity.