Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Bidirectional optical signal transmission between two identical devices using perovskite diodes


The integration of optical signal generation and reception into one device—thus allowing a bidirectional optical signal transmission between two identical devices—is of value in the development of miniaturized and integrated optoelectronic devices. However, conventional solution-processable semiconductors have intrinsic material and design limitations that prevent them from being used to create such devices with a high performance. Here we report an efficient solution-processed perovskite diode that is capable of working in both emission and detection modes. The device can be switched between modes by changing the bias direction, and it exhibits light emission with an external quantum efficiency of over 21% and a light detection limit on a subpicowatt scale. The operation speed for both functions can reach tens of megahertz. Benefiting from the small Stokes shift of perovskites, our diodes exhibit a high specific detectivity (more than 2 × 1012 Jones) at its peak emission (~804 nm), which allows an optical signal exchange between two identical diodes. To illustrate the potential of the dual-functional diode, we show that it can be used to create a monolithic pulse sensor and a bidirectional optical communication system.

This is a preview of subscription content

Access options

Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Fig. 1: Schematic illustration of the dual-functional perovskite diode used as the light-emitting and detecting devices.
Fig. 2: Characterizations of the perovskite diodes when working as the light emitter.
Fig. 3: Characterizations of the perovskite diode when working as a photodetector.
Fig. 4: Photoresponse characteristics of the perovskite diode working as a photodetector to light emitted from another identical diode that works as an LED.
Fig. 5: Demonstration of the dual-functional perovskite diode for applications in biomedicine and optical communications.

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.


  1. Shi, Z. et al. Transferrable monolithic iii–nitride photonic circuit for multifunctional optoelectronics. Appl. Phys. Lett. 111, 241104 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  2. Jiang, Y. et al. Simultaneous light-emitting light-detecting functionality of InGaN/GaN multiple quantum well diodes. IEEE Electron Device Lett. 38, 1684–1687 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  3. Clark, J. & Lanzani, G. Organic photonics for communications. Nat. Photonics 4, 438–446 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. Klauk, H. Organic Electronics: Materials, Manufacturing and Applications (Wiley, 2006).

  5. Muccini, M. A bright future for organic field-effect transistors. Nat. Mater. 5, 605–613 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  6. Shirasaki, Y., Supran, G. J., Bawendi, M. G. & Bulović, V. Emergence of colloidal quantum-dot light-emitting technologies. Nat. Photonics 7, 13–23 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  7. García De Arquer, F. P., Armin, A., Meredith, P. & Sargent, E. H. Solution-processed semiconductors for next-generation photodetectors. Nat. Rev. Mater. 2, 16100 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  8. Zhang, G. et al. Highly efficient photovoltaic diode based organic ultraviolet photodetector and the strong electroluminescence resulting from pure exciplex emission. Org. Electron. Phys. Mater. Appl. 10, 352–356 (2009).

    Google Scholar 

  9. Ali, F., Periasamy, N., Patankar, M. P. & Narasimhan, K. L. Integrated organic blue LED and visible-blind UV photodetector. J. Phys. Chem. C 115, 2462–2469 (2011).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. Yoshino, K. et al. Marked enhancement of photoconductivity and quenching of luminescence in poly(2,5-dialkoxy-p-phenylene vinylene) upon C60 doping. Jpn J. Appl. Phys. 32, L357–L360 (1993).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  11. Mashford, B. S. et al. High-efficiency quantum-dot light-emitting devices with enhanced charge injection. Nat. Photonics 7, 407–412 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  12. Dai, X. et al. Solution-processed, high-performance light-emitting diodes based on quantum dots. Nature 515, 96–99 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  13. Oh, N. et al. Double-heterojunction nanorod light-responsive LEDs for display applications. Science 355, 616–619 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  14. Oertel, D. C., Bawendi, M. G., Arango, A. C. & Bulović, V. Photodetectors based on treated CdSe quantum-dot films. Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 213505 (2005).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  15. Clifford, J. P. et al. Fast, sensitive and spectrally tuneable colloidal-quantum-dot photodetectors. Nat. Nanotechnol. 4, 40–44 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  16. Tan, Z. K. et al. Bright light-emitting diodes based on organometal halide perovskite. Nat. Nanotechnol. 9, 687–692 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  17. Sutherland, B. R. & Sargent, E. H. Perovskite photonic sources. Nat. Photonics 10, 295–302 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  18. Dou, L. et al. Solution-processed hybrid perovskite photodetectors with high detectivity. Nat. Commun. 5, 5404 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  19. Feng, J. et al. Single-crystalline layered metal–halide perovskite nanowires for ultrasensitive photodetectors. Nat. Electron. 1, 404–410 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  20. Fang, Y. & Huang, J. Resolving weak light of sub-picowatt per square centimeter by hybrid perovskite photodetectors enabled by noise reduction. Adv. Mater. 27, 2804–2810 (2015).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  21. Shen, L. et al. A self‐powered, sub‐nanosecond‐response solution‐processed hybrid perovskite photodetector for time‐resolved photoluminescence-lifetime detection. Adv. Mater. 28, 10794–10800 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  22. Bao, C. et al. Low-noise and large-linear-dynamic-range photodetectors based on hybrid-perovskite thin-single-crystals. Adv. Mater. 29, 1703209 (2017).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  23. Bao, C. et al. High performance and stable all-inorganic metal halide perovskite-based photodetectors for optical communication applications. Adv. Mater. 30, 1803422 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  24. Wang, N. et al. Perovskite light-emitting diodes based on solution-processed self-organized multiple quantum wells. Nat. Photonics 10, 699–704 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  25. Chiba, T. et al. Anion-exchange red perovskite quantum dots with ammonium iodine salts for highly efficient light-emitting devices. Nat. Photonics 12, 681–687 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  26. Zhao, B. et al. High-efficiency perovskite–polymer bulk heterostructure light-emitting diodes. Nat. Photonics 12, 783–789 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  27. Cao, Y. et al. Perovskite light-emitting diodes based on spontaneously formed submicrometre-scale structures. Nature 562, 249–253 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  28. Lin, K. et al. Perovskite light-emitting diodes with external quantum efficiency exceeding 20 per cent. Nature 562, 245–248 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  29. Xu, W. et al. Rational molecular passivation for high-performance perovskite light-emitting diodes. Nat. Photonics 13, 418–424 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  30. Deschler, F. et al. High photoluminescence efficiency and optically pumped lasing in solution-processed mixed halide perovskite semiconductors. J. Phys. Chem. Lett. 5, 1421–1426 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  31. Xing, G. et al. Low-temperature solution-processed wavelength-tunable perovskites for lasing. Nat. Mater. 13, 476–480 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  32. Stranks, S. D. et al. Electron–hole diffusion lengths exceeding 1 micrometer in an organometal trihalide perovskite absorber. Science 342, 341–344 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  33. Le, Q., Van, Jang, H. W. & Kim, S.-Y. Recent advances toward high-efficiency halide perovskite light emitting diodes: review and perspective. Small Methods 2, 1700419 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  34. Yuan, M. et al. Perovskite energy funnels for efficient light-emitting diodes. Nat. Nanotechnol. 11, 872–877 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  35. Wei, M. et al. Ultrafast narrowband exciton routing within layered perovskite nanoplatelets enables low-loss luminescent solar concentrators. Nat. Energy 4, 197–205 (2019).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  36. Liao, C. L., Chang, Y. F., Ho, C. L. & Wu, M. C. High-speed GaN-based blue light-emitting diodes with gallium-doped ZnO current spreading layer. IEEE Electron Device Lett. 34, 611–613 (2013).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  37. Liao, C. L., Ho, C. L., Chang, Y. F., Wu, C. H. & Wu, M. C. High-speed light-emitting diodes emitting at 500 nm with 463-Mhz modulation bandwidth. IEEE Electron Device Lett. 35, 563–565 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  38. Kim, J. S., Kajii, H. & Ohmori, Y. Characteristics of optical response in red organic light-emitting diodes using two dopant system for application to the optical link devices. Thin Solid Films 499, 343–348 (2006).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  39. Barlow, I. A., Kreouzis, T. & Lidzey, D. G. High-speed electroluminescence modulation of a conjugated-polymer light emitting diode. Appl. Phys. Lett. 94, 243301 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  40. Bowring, A. R., Bertoluzzi, L., O’Regan, B. C. & McGehee, M. D. Reverse bias behavior of halide perovskite solar cells. Adv. Energy Mater. 8, 1702365 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  41. Lochner, C. M., Khan, Y., Pierre, A. & Arias, A. C. All-organic optoelectronic sensor for pulse oximetry. Nat. Commun. 5, 5745 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  42. Gong, S. et al. A wearable and highly sensitive pressure sensor with ultrathin gold nanowires. Nat. Commun. 5, 3132 (2014).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  43. Yokota, N., Nisaka, K., Yasaka, H. & Ikeda, K. Spin polarization modulation for high-speed vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers. Appl. Phys. Lett. 113, 171102 (2018).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  44. Ferreira, R. X. G. et al. High bandwidth GaN-based micro-LEDs for multi-Gb/s visible light communications. IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 28, 2023–2026 (2016).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  45. Shimizu, N., Watanabe, N., Furuta, T. & Ishibashi, T. InP–InGaAs uni-traveling-carrier photodiode with improved 3-dB bandwidth of over 150 GHz. IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 10, 412–414 (1998).

    Article  Google Scholar 

Download references


We thank M. Kovalenko for helpful discussions. This work is supported by the ERC Starting Grant (Grant no. 717026), the Major Research Plan of the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant no. 91733302), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant nos 51472164 and 61704077), the National Science Fund for Distinguished Young Scholars (Grant no. 61725502), the 1000 Talents Program for Young Scientists of China, Shenzhen Peacock Plan (Grant no. KQTD2016053112042971), the Educational Commission of Guangdong Province (Grant no. 2015KGJHZ006), the Key Projects of National Natural Science Foundation of China (61935017), the Projects of International Cooperation and Exchanges NSFC (51811530018), the Natural Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province (BK20171007), the European Commission Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (691210), the Swedish Government Strategic Research Area in Materials Science on Functional Materials at Linköping University (Faculty Grant SFO-Mat-LiU no. 2009-00971), the Nanjing University of Aeronautics and Astronautics PhD short-term visiting scholar project (Grant no. 180608DF06) and the China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (2017M622744 and 2018T110886). W.H. acknowledges the support from Synergetic Innovation Center for Organic Electronics & Information Displays. F.G. is a Wallenberg Academy Fellow.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations



F.G. and C.B. conceived the idea; W.X. and P.T. fabricated the perovskite devices and performed the EL efficiency characterizations; C.B. and J.Y. performed the EL speed and photodetection measurements and the application demonstrations; S.B. synthesized and tailored the ZnO nanocrystal and contributed to improve the device performance; F.G., W.H. and W.Z. guided the experiments and discussed the data; F.G., C.B., W.X., J.Y. and S.B. wrote and revised the manuscript, J.W., N.Z. and Y.Y. contributed to the results analysis and the revision of the manuscript. F.G. supervised the project. All the authors discussed the results and commented on the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Wenjing Zhang, Wei Huang or Feng Gao.

Ethics declarations

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Additional information

Publisher’s note Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Note 1, Figs. 1–13 and refs. 1–5.

Supplementary Video 1

Demonstration video of heart pulse monitor.

Supplementary Video 2

Demonstration video of audio transmission.

Supplementary Video 3

Demonstration video of bidirectional optical communication.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

Bao, C., Xu, W., Yang, J. et al. Bidirectional optical signal transmission between two identical devices using perovskite diodes. Nat Electron 3, 156–164 (2020).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing