Public Release: 

Development of new class of photodetectors funded by US Air Force

Breakthrough technology allows usage at room temperature

University of Akron

The United States Air Force, Office of Scientific Research, awarded $819,543 to Xiong Gong, University of Akron associate professor of polymer engineering, to develop a new class of photodectors.

Sensing from the ultraviolet to the near infrared is critical for many industrial and scientific applications, including optical communications, remote control, day/night surveillance, chemical/biological sensing, etc., according to Gong, an associate professor in the Department of Polymer Engineering. At present, even the most well-developed inorganic photodetectors that are commercially available have limitations and must be operated at low temperatures.

"A 'breakthrough' technology would be enabled by a new class of photodetectors that do not require cooling to obtain high detectivity," explains Gong. "These photodetectors would be fabricated by solution-processing to enable low-cost multi-color, high quantum efficiency, high sensitivity and high speed response over this broad spectral range, which are operated in room temperature.

"The goal of this proposal is to create and fabricate uncooled ultrasensitive solution-processed broad band polymer photodetectors to substitute for their currently inorganic counterparts," adds Gong.

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