Research ArticleAPPLIED OPTICS

Self-rolling and light-trapping in flexible quantum well–embedded nanomembranes for wide-angle infrared photodetectors

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Science Advances  12 Aug 2016:
Vol. 2, no. 8, e1600027
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1600027


Three-dimensional (3D) design and manufacturing enable flexible nanomembranes to deliver unique properties and applications in flexible electronics, photovoltaics, and photonics. We demonstrate that a quantum well (QW)–embedded nanomembrane in a rolled-up geometry facilitates a 3D QW infrared photodetector (QWIP) device with enhanced responsivity and detectivity. Circular geometry of nanomembrane rolls provides the light coupling route; thus, there are no external light coupling structures, which are normally necessary for QWIPs. This 3D QWIP device under tube-based light-trapping mode presents broadband enhancement of coupling efficiency and omnidirectional detection under a wide incident angle (±70°), offering a unique solution to high-performance focal plane array. The winding number of these rolled-up QWIPs provides well-tunable blackbody photocurrents and responsivity. 3D self-assembly of functional nanomembranes offers a new path for high conversion efficiency between light and electricity in photodetectors, solar cells, and light-emitting diodes.

  • Nanomembrane
  • rolled-up nanotechnology
  • infrared photodetector
  • quantum well
  • light-trap

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

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