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All-Printable ZnO Quantum Dots/Graphene van der Waals Heterostructures for Ultrasensitive Detection of Ultraviolet Light

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journal contribution
posted on 2017-03-22, 00:00 authored by Maogang Gong, Qingfeng Liu, Brent Cook, Bhupal Kattel, Ti Wang, Wai-Lun Chan, Dan Ewing, Matthew Casper, Alex Stramel, Judy Z. Wu
In ZnO quantum dot/graphene heterojunction photodetectors, fabricated by printing quantum dots (QDs) directly on the graphene field-effect transistor (GFET) channel, the combination of the strong quantum confinement in ZnO QDs and the high charge mobility in graphene allows extraordinary quantum efficiency (or photoconductive gain) in visible-blind ultraviolet (UV) detection. Key to the high performance is a clean van der Waals interface to facilitate an efficient charge transfer from ZnO QDs to graphene upon UV illumination. Here, we report a robust ZnO QD surface activation process and demonstrate that a transition from zero to extraordinarily high photoresponsivity of 9.9 × 108 A/W and a photoconductive gain of 3.6 × 109 can be obtained in ZnO QDs/GFET heterojunction photodetectors, as the ZnO QDs surface is systematically engineered using this process. The high figure-of-merit UV detectivity D* in exceeding 1 × 1014 Jones represents more than 1 order of magnitude improvement over the best reported previously on ZnO nanostructure-based UV detectors. This result not only sheds light on the critical role of the van der Waals interface in affecting the optoelectronic process in ZnO QDs/GFET heterojunction photodetectors but also demonstrates the viability of printing quantum devices of high performance and low cost.