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Solution-processed semiconductors for next-generation photodetectors

A Corrigendum to this article was published on 01 March 2017


Efficient light detection is central to modern science and technology. Current photodetectors mainly use photodiodes based on crystalline inorganic elemental semiconductors, such as silicon, or compounds such as III–V semiconductors. Photodetectors made of solution-processed semiconductors — which include organic materials, metal-halide perovskites and quantum dots — have recently emerged as candidates for next-generation light sensing. They combine ease of processing, tailorable optoelectronic properties, facile integration with complementary metal–oxide–semiconductors, compatibility with flexible substrates and good performance. Here, we review the recent advances and the open challenges in the field of solution-processed photodetectors, examining the topic from both the materials and the device perspective and highlighting the potential of the synergistic combination of materials and device engineering. We explore hybrid phototransistors and their potential to overcome trade-offs in noise, gain and speed, as well as the rapid advances in metal-halide perovskite photodiodes and their recent application in narrowband filterless photodetection.

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Figure 1: Solution-processed photodetectors.
Figure 2: Metal-halide perovskite photodiodes.
Figure 3: Phototransistors, gain and transport.
Figure 4: Performance metrics for solution-processed photodetectors.
Figure 5: Colour selectivity and charge collection narrowing.


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P.M. is an Australian Research Council Discovery Outstanding Research Award Fellow, and a Ser Cymru Research Chair funded under the Ser Cymru II Program by the Welsh Assembly Government and the Welsh European Funding Office. A.A. and P.M. acknowledge funding from the Australian Research Council through the Discovery Program and the Australian Centre for Advanced Photovoltaics (Australian Renewable Energy Agency). This work was supported by the Ontario Research Fund: Research Excellence Program, the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada, and the Connaught Global Challenges Program of the University of Toronto.

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Correspondence to Edward H. Sargent.

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Performance metrics for solution-processed photodetectors. (PDF 197 kb)

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García de Arquer, F., Armin, A., Meredith, P. et al. Solution-processed semiconductors for next-generation photodetectors. Nat Rev Mater 2, 16100 (2017).

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