Dual-band infrared imaging using stacked colloidal quantum dot photodiodes


Infrared multispectral imaging is attracting great interest with the increasing demand for sensitive, low-cost and scalable devices that can distinguish coincident spectral information. However, the widespread use of such detectors is still limited by the high cost of epitaxial semiconductors. In contrast, the solution processability and wide spectral tunability of colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) have inspired various inexpensive, high-performance optoelectronic devices. Here, we demonstrate a two-terminal CQD dual-band detector, which provides a bias-switchable spectral response in two distinct bands. A vertical stack of two rectifying junctions in a back-to-back diode configuration is created by engineering a strong and spatially stable doping process. By controlling the bias polarity and magnitude, the detector can be rapidly switched between short-wave infrared and mid-wave infrared at modulation frequencies up to 100 kHz with D* above 1010 jones at cryogenic temperature. The detector performance is illustrated by dual-band infrared imaging and remote temperature monitoring.

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Fig. 1: Design and working principle of HgTe CQDs dual-band detectors.
Fig. 2: Photoresponse characterization of HgTe CQD dual-band detectors.
Fig. 3: SWIR/MWIR dual-band imaging.
Fig. 4: Bias-switchable SWIR/MWIR sensing with a HgTe CQDs dual-band detector.

Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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This work was supported by ARO W911NF-18-1-0207 and partially supported by the University of Chicago Materials Research Science and Engineering Center, which is funded by the National Science Foundation under award no. DMR1420709. This work also made use of the Pritzker Nanofabrication Facility of the Institute for Molecular Engineering at the University of Chicago, which receives support from the Soft and Hybrid Nanotechnology Experimental (SHyNE) Resource (NSF ECCS-1542205), a node of the National Science Foundation’s National Nanotechnology Coordinated Infrastructure.

Author information




X.T. and M.M.A. conceived and designed the experiments. X.T. fabricated the samples and performed data analysis. M.M.A. synthesized and characterized the colloidal materials. M.C. performed field-effect transistor measurements. All authors contributed to discussions of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Philippe Guyot-Sionnest.

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Competing interests

P.G.-S. is named as an inventor in US patent application 15/062,418, filed 8 September 2016.

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Tang, X., Ackerman, M.M., Chen, M. et al. Dual-band infrared imaging using stacked colloidal quantum dot photodiodes. Nat. Photonics 13, 277–282 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-019-0362-1

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