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ACS Nano. 2018 Jan 23;12(1):425-431. doi: 10.1021/acsnano.7b06633. Epub 2018 Jan 9.

Vacuum-Ultraviolet Photovoltaic Detector.

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State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, School of Materials, Sun Yat-Sen University , Guangzhou 510275, P. R. China.
Institute of Semiconductors, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100083, China.


Over the past two decades, solar- and astrophysicists and material scientists have been researching and developing new-generation semiconductor-based vacuum ultraviolet (VUV) detectors with low power consumption and small size for replacing traditional heavy and high-energy-consuming microchannel-detection systems, to study the formation and evolution of stars. However, the most desirable semiconductor-based VUV photovoltaic detector capable of achieving zero power consumption has not yet been achieved. With high-crystallinity multistep epitaxial grown AlN as a VUV-absorbing layer for photogenerated carriers and p-type graphene (with unexpected VUV transmittance >96%) as a transparent electrode to collect excited holes, we constructed a heterojunction device with photovoltaic detection for VUV light. The device exhibits an encouraging VUV photoresponse, high external quantum efficiency (EQE) and extremely fast tempera response (80 ns, 104-106 times faster than that of the currently reported VUV photoconductive devices). This work has provided an idea for developing zero power consumption and integrated VUV photovoltaic detectors with ultrafast and high-sensitivity VUV detection capability, which not only allows future spacecraft to operate with longer service time and lower launching cost but also ensures an ultrafast evolution of interstellar objects.


AlN; graphene; high-sensitivity; photovoltaic detector; ultrafast; vacuum-ultraviolet


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