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Direct observation and manipulation of hot electrons at room temperature

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

  • H. Wang
  • F. Wang
  • H. Xia
  • P. Wang
  • T. Li
  • J. Li
  • Z. Wang
  • J. Sun
  • P. Wu
  • J. Ye
  • Q. Zhuang
  • Z. Yang
  • L. Fu
  • W. Hu
  • X. Chen
  • W. Lu
Article numbernwaa295
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>30/09/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>National Science Review
Issue number9
Number of pages9
Publication StatusPublished
Early online date15/12/20
<mark>Original language</mark>English


In modern electronics and optoelectronics, hot electron behaviors are highly concerned, as they determine the performance limit of a device or system, like the associated thermal or power constraint of chips and the Shockley-Queisser limit for solar cell efficiency. To date, however, the manipulation of hot electrons has been mostly based on conceptual interpretations rather than a direct observation. The problem arises from a fundamental fact that energy-differential electrons are mixed up in real-space, making it hard to distinguish them from each other by standard measurements. Here we demonstrate a distinct approach to artificially (spatially) separate hot electrons from cold ones in semiconductor nanowire transistors, which thus offers a unique opportunity to observe and modulate electron occupied state, energy, mobility and even path. Such a process is accomplished through the scanning-photocurrent-microscopy measurements by activating the intervalley-scattering events and 1D charge-neutrality rule. Findings here may provide a new degree of freedom in manipulating non-equilibrium electrons for both electronic and optoelectronic applications.