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Stable Colloidal Quantum Dot Inks Enable Inkjet-Printed High-Sensitivity Infrared Photodetectors

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posted on 2019-09-30, 14:35 authored by Rafal Sliz, Marc Lejay, James Z. Fan, Min-Jae Choi, Sachin Kinge, Sjoerd Hoogland, Tapio Fabritius, F. Pelayo García de Arquer, Edward H. Sargent
Colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) have recently gained attention as materials for manufacturing optoelectronic devices in view of their tunable light absorption and emission properties and compatibility with low-temperature thin-film manufacture. The realization of CQD inkjet-printed infrared photodetectors has thus far been hindered by incompatibility between the chemical processes that produce state-of-the-art CQD solution-exchanged inks and the requirements of ink formulations for inkjet materials processing. To achieve inkjet-printed CQD solids with a high degree of reproducibility, as well as with the needed morphological and optoelectronic characteristics, we sought to overcome the mismatch among these processing conditions. In this study, we design CQD inks by simultaneous evaluation of requirements regarding ink colloidal stability, jetting conditions, and film morphology for different dots and solvents. The new inks remain colloidally stable, achieved through a design that suppresses the reductant properties of amines on the dots’ surface. After drop ejection from the nozzle, the quantum dot material is immobilized on the substrate surface due to the rapid evaporation of the low boiling point amine-based compound. Concurrently, the high boiling point solvent allows for the formation of a thin film of high uniformity, as is required for the fabrication of high-performance IR photodetectors. We fabricate inkjet-printed photodetectors exhibiting the highest specific detectivities reported to date (above 1012 Jones across the IR) in an inkjet-printed quantum dot film. As a patternable CMOS-compatible process, the work offers routes to integrated sensing devices and systems.

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