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A near-infrared colloidal quantum dot imager with monolithically integrated readout circuitry

Abstract

Imagers that operate in the near-infrared region (wavelengths of 0.7–1.4 µm) are of use in applications such as material sorting, machine vision and autonomous driving. However, such imagers typically use the flip-chip method to connect infrared photodiodes with silicon-based readout integrated circuits, as the need for high-temperature processing and single-crystalline substrates prevents direct integration. This increases processing complexity and cost. Here we report high-resolution imagers that monolithically integrate near-infrared colloidal quantum dot photodiodes with complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor readout integrated circuits. The colloidal quantum dot photodetector is designed with a structure compatible with complementary metal–oxide–semiconductors and exhibits a spectral range of 400–1,300 nm, room-temperature detectivity of 2.1 × 1012 Jones, −3 dB bandwidth of 140 kHz and linear dynamic range of over 100 dB. With this approach, we create a large (640 × 512 pixels) imager that exhibits a spatial resolution of 40 line pairs per millimetre at a modulation transfer function of 50%, and we show that it can be used for vein imaging and matter identification.

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Fig. 1: Design of CMOS-compatible PbS CQD photodiode.
Fig. 2: Performance of CMOS-compatible PbS CQD photodiodes.
Fig. 3: Imager integrating CMOS ROIC and PbS CQD photodiodes.
Fig. 4: Performance of PbS CQD imager.
Fig. 5: Applications of PbS CQD imager.

Data availability

Source data are provided with this paper. The data that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding authors upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

This work was financially supported by the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2021YFA0715500; J.T.), National Natural Science Foundation of China (61725401; J.T. and 61904065; L.G.) and Fund for Innovative Research Groups of the Natural Science Foundation of Hubei Province (2020CFA034; J.T.). We thank the Analytical and Testing Center of HUST and the facility support of the Center for Nanoscale Characterization and Devices (CHCB), WNLO-HUST. We appreciate helpful discussions from Hao Li and Prof. Dongsheng Liu.

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Authors

Contributions

L.G. and J.T. supervised the whole project. J.L., P.L. and D.C. fabricated the photodiodes and the imager. J.K., K.X. and J.Z. provided PbS CQDs. J.L., T.S., X.Q., L.C. and T.W. performed the measurements and analysed the experimental data. L.G., J.T., H.S., W.W. and J.C. supported the theoretical analysis. J.L., L.G. and J.T. wrote the manuscript. All the authors reviewed and commented on the manuscript.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Liang Gao or Jiang Tang.

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Nature Electronics thanks Xingtian Yin, Peter Müller-Buschbaum and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

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Supplementary Figs. 1–15, Discussion and Tables 1–4.

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Liu, J., Liu, P., Chen, D. et al. A near-infrared colloidal quantum dot imager with monolithically integrated readout circuitry. Nat Electron 5, 443–451 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41928-022-00779-x

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