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[2020/11/27] Turning Light into Electric Current, the NYMU Institute of Biophotonics has Invented a Broad-Spectrum Photo Detector

Professor Chattopadhyay and the nano-photo detector he invented

 

Photo detection has been widely applied, including in remote control, automatic doors, and light therapy. However, detecting light at a number of different wave lengths remains a challenge. National Yang-Ming University Institute of Biophotonics has invented a new nano-material that is able to convert light waves of different frequencies, such as ultraviolet, visible light, and infrared, into electric current. The research results have been used to create the prototype of a new generation photo detector, which has been created by National Yang-Ming University, National Taiwan University of Science and Technology and the National Applied Research Laboratories. The result of this research has been published on “Nano Energy”.

 

Photo detectors are devices that are able to convert light into electric current. One major specific application is in remote control. We are able to control home appliances using infrared beams emitted by a remote control. In science, light waves are divided into short-wavelength ultraviolet, 400mm to 800mm visible light and long-wavelength infrared light. A good photo detector should be able to absorb light waves at different wavelengths and then convert them all into an electric current. This is called “photoresponsivity.”

 

Materials used for photo detectors have unique properties. Some materials are only responsive to light of a specific wavelength; this means that high energy ultraviolet and visible light, which are readily absorbed, are often used for devices when appropriate, but infrared light photo detectors have remained a challenge. Professor Chattopadhyay of National Yang-Ming University Institute of Biophotonics and his PhD student Sandip Ghoshmade have created a 4.5 micron-photo detector by combining MoS2 and up-conversion nanoparticles. This photo detector is able to absorb a wide range of wavelengths from the ultraviolet to the infrared, and has an improved conversion efficiency for infrared light compared to the past.

 

     

  Photo sensor invented by Professor Chattopadhyay and PhD student Ghosh, both from National Yang-Ming University Institute of Biophotonics (right)

 

Professor Chattopadhyay remarked that commercial materials usually cannot absorb a broad spectrum of light waves. Therefore, they thought that they should to use more than two materials to achieve a wider light absorption spectrum. Photo detectors have been applied in electronics, medicine, optoelectronics and many other fields. This achievement will not only accelerate research and development in this field, but it should be able to be utilized commercially to improve smart phones, remote controls, and even military night vision equipment. 

 

Professor Chattopadhyay (center) and his laboratory members

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

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