Researchers developed Self-powered UV photodetector

iisc ResearchersResearchers developed Self-powered UV photodetector charges energy storage devices:

Researchers from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore, in a novel approach, have developed a cost-effective, high-performance, self-powered UV photodetector that can use the harvested optical energy for direct self-charging of energy storage devices such as supercapacitor. It can also be used for operating electronic devices in the absence of external power source.

The researchers developed the photodetector by integrating semiconducting vanadium doped zinc oxide (VZnO) nanoflakes with a conducting polymer. The photodetector has superior performance in terms of faster detection of photo signals in the order of milliseconds even when UV light intensity is low.

The results were published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces .

Zinc oxide (ZnO), the base material for UV detection, can be doped with vanadium to produce photodetectors that are self-powered. When doped with vanadium, the microstructure of ZnO changes from nanorods to closely-packed nanoflakes, causing an increase in the surface area to the volume of the material.

Doping ZnO with vanadium also creates surface defects within the band gap (between the conduction and valence bands) of ZnO, which helps in trapping the UV radiation that falls on the nanoflakes.

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