Highly Photoresponsive ZnO Photodetector for Operation in the Visible Spectral Range

Categories: "Physics, Optics and Electronic Devices"

Reference #: 2017-016

OTC Contact: Zeinab Abouissa. (Directory Information | Send a Message)

Description

The development of high performance visible photodetectors (PDs) is of great importance for uses ranging
from biological/environmental sensors, to cameras, to military/space applications. While significant
advances have been made for gold nanoparticle (AuNP)-coupled zinc oxide (ZnO) as visibly blind,
ultraviolet (UV) photodetection devices, very few ZnO nanomaterial systems have been developed
specifically for use in the visible wavelength regime. Researchers at Georgetown have developed a
straightforward and highly scalable approach to construct a AuNP-coupled ZnO photodetector (PD) that
provides significantly enhanced photoresponsive behaviors in the visible wavelength range. The
photovoltage and photocurrent values that are produced from this ZnO PD are comparable to, if not far
exceeding, the photoresponse capacity of most commercial PDs as well as recently reported AuNP-coupled
ZnO devices functioning at visible wavelengths. In addition, the ZnO PD is constructed without employing
ultrahigh vacuum, sputtering procedures, or photo/electron-beam lithographic tools. Hence, this approach
may offer a simple and viable means to achieve low-cost, high-performing PDs with spectral tunability in
the visible range.

Application

Uses range from biological/environmental sensors, to cameras, to military/space applications

Advantages

  • The ZnO PD provides significantly enhanced photoresponsive behaviors in the visible wavelength range
  • The device is constructed via a straightforward and highly scalable approach
  • The approach does not employ complicated processing steps, highly specialized instrumentation, and lithographic tools, which offers a low-cost and highly scalable approach to achieving high-performing visible light PDs

Stage of Development

The construction of AuNP-coupled ZnO photodetector (PD) device is demonstrated. Photoresponse signals
of the device were studied at different incident wavelengths.

Inventors

Jong-in Hahm, Daniel S. Choi, Matthew Hansen, and Edward Van Keuren

Patent Status

Provisional Patent Application Filed