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Concept: Optoelectronics


This work demonstrates an attractive low-cost route to obtain large area and high-quality graphene films by using the ultra-smooth copper foils which are typically used as the negative electrodes in lithium-ion batteries. We first compared the electronic transport properties of our new graphene film with the one synthesized by using commonly used standard copper foils in chemical vapor deposition (CVD). We observed a stark improvement in the electrical performance of the transistors realized on our graphene films. To study the optical properties on large area, we transferred CVD based graphene to transparent flexible substrates using hot lamination method and performed large area optical scanning. We demonstrate the promise of our high quality graphene films for large areas with ~400 cm(2) flexible optical modulators. We obtained a profound light modulation over a broad spectrum by using the fabricated large area transparent graphene supercapacitors and we compared the performance of our devices with the one based on graphene from standard copper. We propose that the copper foils used in the lithium-ion batteries could be used to obtain high-quality graphene at much lower-cost, with the improved performance of electrical transport and optical properties in the devices made from them.

Concepts: Optoelectronics, Lithium-ion battery, Semiconductor, Electronics, Optics, Rechargeable battery, Photonics, Chemical vapor deposition


Controlling the size and shape of semiconducting nanocrystals advances nanoelectronics and photonics. Quantum-confined, inexpensive, solution-derived metal halide perovskites offer narrowband, color-pure emitters as integral parts of next-generation displays and optoelectronic devices. We use nanoporous silicon and alumina thin films as templates for the growth of perovskite nanocrystallites directly within device-relevant architectures without the use of colloidal stabilization. We find significantly blue-shifted photoluminescence emission by reducing the pore size; normally infrared-emitting materials become visibly red, and green-emitting materials become cyan and blue. Confining perovskite nanocrystals within porous oxide thin films drastically increases photoluminescence stability because the templates auspiciously serve as encapsulation. We quantify the template-induced size of the perovskite crystals in nanoporous silicon with microfocus high-energy x-ray depth profiling in transmission geometry, verifying the growth of perovskite nanocrystals throughout the entire thickness of the nanoporous films. Low-voltage electroluminescent diodes with narrow, blue-shifted emission fabricated from nanocrystalline perovskites grown in embedded nanoporous alumina thin films substantiate our general concept for next-generation photonic devices.

Concepts: Optics, Aluminium, Crystal structure, Oxygen, Nanocrystal, Optoelectronics, Photonics, Semiconductor


A method to produce highly efficient and long range vertical charge transport is demonstrated in an undoped polythiophene thin film, with average mobilities above 3.1 cm(2) V(-1) s(-1) . These record high mobilities are achieved by controlled orientation of the polymer crystallites enabling the most efficient and fastest charge transport along the chain backbones and across multiple chains. The significant increase in mobility shown here may present a new route to producing faster and more efficient optoelectronic devices based on organic materials.

Concepts: Organic semiconductors, George Harrison, Optoelectronics, Semiconductor


Black phosphorus is a two-dimensional material of great interest, in part because of its high carrier mobility and thickness dependent direct bandgap. However, its instability under ambient conditions limits material deposition options for device fabrication. Here we show a black phosphorus ink that can be reliably inkjet printed, enabling scalable development of optoelectronic and photonic devices. Our binder-free ink suppresses coffee ring formation through induced recirculating Marangoni flow, and supports excellent consistency (< 2% variation) and spatial uniformity (< 3.4% variation), without substrate pre-treatment. Due to rapid ink drying (< 10 s at < 60 °C), printing causes minimal oxidation. Following encapsulation, the printed black phosphorus is stable against long-term (> 30 days) oxidation. We demonstrate printed black phosphorus as a passive switch for ultrafast lasers, stable against intense irradiation, and as a visible to near-infrared photodetector with high responsivities. Our work highlights the promise of this material as a functional ink platform for printed devices.Atomically thin black phosphorus shows promise for optoelectronics and photonics, yet its instability under environmental conditions and the lack of well-established large-area synthesis protocols hinder its applications. Here, the authors demonstrate a stable black phosphorus ink suitable for printed ultrafast lasers and photodetectors.

Concepts: Optoelectronics, Semiconductor, Ink, Optics, Photodiode, Inkjet printer, Printing, Photonics


Two-dimensional layered transition-metal dichalcogenides have attracted considerable interest for their unique layer-number-dependent properties. In particular, vertical integration of these two-dimensional crystals to form van der Waals heterostructures can open up a new dimension for the design of functional electronic and optoelectronic devices. Here we report the layer-number-dependent photocurrent generation in graphene/MoS2/graphene heterostructures by creating a device with two distinct regions containing one-layer and seven-layer MoS2 to exclude other extrinsic factors. Photoresponse studies reveal that photoresponsivity in one-layer MoS2 is surprisingly higher than that in seven-layer MoS2 by seven times. Spectral-dependent studies further show that the internal quantum efficiency in one-layer MoS2 can reach a maximum of 65%, far higher than the 7% in seven-layer MoS2. Our theoretical modelling shows that asymmetric potential barriers in the top and bottom interfaces of the graphene/one-layer MoS2/graphene heterojunction enable asymmetric carrier tunnelling, to generate usually high photoresponsivity in one-layer MoS2 device.

Concepts: Dimension, Optoelectronics, String theory, Vector space, Motivation, Semiconductor, Heterojunction, Electronics terms


The realization of low-cost photodetectors with high sensitivity, high quantum efficiency, high gain and fast photoresponse in the visible and short-wave infrared remains one of the challenges in optoelectronics. Two classes of photodetectors that have been developed are photodiodes and phototransistors, each of them with specific drawbacks. Here we merge both types into a hybrid photodetector device by integrating a colloidal quantum dot photodiode atop a graphene phototransistor. Our hybrid detector overcomes the limitations of a phototransistor in terms of speed, quantum efficiency and linear dynamic range. We report quantum efficiencies in excess of 70%, gain of 10(5) and linear dynamic range of 110 dB and 3 dB bandwidth of 1.5 kHz. This constitutes a demonstration of an optoelectronically active device integrated directly atop graphene and paves the way towards a generation of flexible highly performing hybrid two-dimensional (2D)/0D optoelectronics.

Concepts: Infrared, Optoelectronics, Diode, Electronics terms, Photodetector, Solar cell, Photodiode


The recent re-emergence of the halide perovskites, of the type AMX3, derives from a sea-changing breakthrough in the field of photovoltaics that has led to a whole new generation of solar devices with remarkable power conversion efficiency. The success in the field of photovoltaics has led to intense, combined research efforts to better understand these materials both from the fundamental chemistry and physics points of view and for the improvement of applied functional device engineering. This groundswell of activity has breathed new life into this long-known but largely “forgotten” class of perovskites. The impressive achievements of halide perovskites in photovoltaics, as well as other optoelectronic applications, stem from an unusually favorable combination of optical and electronic properties, with the ability to be solution processed into films. This defines them as a brand new class of semiconductors that can rival or exceed the performance of the venerable classes of III-V and II-IV semiconductors, which presently dominate the industries of applied optoelectronics. Our aim in this Account is to highlight the basic pillars that define the chemistry of the halide perovskites and their unconventional electronic properties through the prism of structure-property relationships. We focus on the synthetic requirements under which a halide perovskite can exist and emphasize how the synthetic conditions can determine the structural integrity and the bulk properties of the perovskites. Then we proceed to discuss the origins of the optical and electronic phenomena, using the perovskite crystal structure as a guide. Some of the most remarkable features of the perovskites dealt with in this Account include the evolution of a unique type of defect, which gives rise to superlattices. These can enhance or diminish the fluorescence properties of the perovskites. For example, the exotic self-doping ability of the Sn-based perovskites allows them to adopt electrical properties from semiconducting to metallic. We attempt to rationalize how these properties can be tuned and partially controlled through targeted synthetic procedures for use in electronic and optical devices. In addition, we address open scientific questions that pose big obstacles in understanding the fundamentals of perovskites. We anticipate that the answers to these questions will provide the impetus upon which future research directions will be founded.

Concepts: Photovoltaics, Mineralogy, Diode, Perovskite, Crystal structure, Solar cell, Semiconductor, Optoelectronics


Dynamic control of nonlinear signals is critical for a wide variety of optoelectronic applications, such as signal processing for optical computing. However, controlling nonlinear optical signals with large modulation strengths and near-perfect contrast remains a challenging problem due to intrinsic second-order nonlinear coefficients via bulk or surface contributions. Here, via electrical control, we turn on and tune second-order nonlinear coefficients in semiconducting CdS nanobelts from zero to up to 151 pm V-1, a value higher than other intrinsic nonlinear coefficients in CdS. We also observe ultrahigh ON/OFF ratio of >104 and modulation strengths ~200% V-1 of the nonlinear signal. The unusual nonlinear behavior, including super-quadratic voltage and power dependence, is ascribed to the high-field domain, which can be further controlled by near-infrared optical excitation and electrical gating. The ability to electrically control nonlinear optical signals in nanostructures can enable optoelectronic devices such as optical transistors and modulators for on-chip integrated photonics.

Concepts: Photoresistor, Control, Optoelectronics, Electrical engineering, Laser, Semiconductor, Photonics


Due to the projected saturation of Moore’s law, as well as the drastically increasing trend of bandwidth with lower power consumption, silicon photonics has emerged as one of the most promising alternatives that has attracted a lasting interest due to the accessibility and maturity of ultra-compact passive and active integrated photonic components. In this Letter, we demonstrate a ripple-carry electro-optic 2-bit full adder using microdisks, which replaces the core part of an electrical full adder by optical counterparts and uses light to carry signals from one bit to the next with high bandwidth and low power consumption per bit. All control signals of the operands are applied simultaneously within each clock cycle. Thus, the severe latency issue that accumulates as the size of the full adder increases can be circumvented, allowing for an improvement in computing speed and a reduction in power consumption. This approach paves the way for future high-speed optical computing systems in the post-Moore’s law era.

Concepts: Nonlinear optics, Quantum optics, Optoelectronics, Photonic computing, Integrated circuit, Optics, Silicon photonics, Photonics


Colloidal semiconductor nanocrystals have attracted attention for cost-effective, solution-based deposition of quantum-confined thin films for optoelectronics. However, two significant challenges must be addressed before practical nanocrystal-based devices can be realized. The first is coping with the ligands that terminate the nanocrystal surfaces. Though ligands provide the colloidal stability needed to cast thin films from solution, these ligands dramatically hinder charge carrier transport in the resulting film. Second, after a conductive film is achieved, doping has proven difficult for further control of the optoelectronic properties of the film. Here we report the ability to confront both of these challenges by exploiting the ability of silicon to engage in hypervalent interactions with hard donor molecules. For the first time, we demonstrate the significant potential of applying the interaction to the nanocrystal surface. In this study, hypervalent interactions are shown to provide colloidal stability as well as doping of silicon nanocrystals.

Concepts: Surface, Film, Entertainment, Computer animation, Electric charge, Optoelectronics, Nanoparticle, Semiconductor