Paper-supported photodetectors

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A new publication from Opto-Electronic Advances, 10.29026/oea.2023.22010 discusses paper-supported photodetectors.

There are certain applications where one would require to use single-use (disposable) electronic components. Point-of-care medical testing applications, for example, could benefit strongly of disposable electronics. The high cost of current PCB board or silicon based components, however, would make these single-use electronics not feasible from the economic point of view. Moreover, the poor recyclability of these PCB board or silicon based electronics would make the electronic-waste a severe problem. Paper-based devices can be a solution to achieve both low-cost and biodegradable electronic components tackling the problems of disposable electronics. The authors of this article demonstrate the fabrication of semiconducting devices on cellulose paper substrate through a simple abrasion technique that yields high-performance photodetectors. This solvent-free method is used to deposit a tungsten disulfide WS2 film on paper with a very sensitive photoresponse over a wide spectral range spanning from ultraviolet to near-infrared. Their responsivity value is very similar to commercially available silicon photodetectors. Furthermore, they have built a spectrometer using such a paper-based WS2 device as the photodetecting component to illustrate its potential application. The present work could promote the development of cost-effective disposable photodetection devices.

The authors of this article propose to integrate high-performance semiconductor photodetection devices on common paper substrate through the direct abrasion of photoactive WS2 crystals. The WS2 devices fabricated on paper exhibit a remarkable photoresponse behavior with responsivity values in the order of ~10 mA W−1 at a bias voltage of 10 V over a broad spectral range from ultraviolet (365 nm) to near-infrared (940 nm). As the applied bias voltage is increased, the responsivity is dramatically enhanced and reaches a maximum value of ~270 mA W−1 at a bias voltage of 35 V. Moreover, it is demonstrated that the atmospheric oxygen molecules have a negative impact on the electrical conductivity and photoresponse performance of paper-based WS2 photodetectors. In fact, the performance of the fabricated paper-supported WS2 photodetectors is optimized when operated in vacuum. In addition, a WS2 photodetector with the narrow channel distance is fabricated on paper using interdigitated Au electrodes, achieving a responsivity of ~200 mA W−1 at 5 V bias. Finally, the authors construct an optical spectrometer using a paper-based WS2 device to demonstrate its potential application in sensitive photodetection components.

Keywords: paper electronics / photodetector / van der Waals materials / solvent-free deposition / tungsten disulfide

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