Nanoneedle Plasmonic Photodetectors And Solar Cells

Tech ID: 18946 / UC Case 2009-123-0

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,809,672 08/19/2014 2009-123
United States Of America Issued Patent 8,673,680 03/18/2014 2009-123
 

Brief Description

The invention is about an extremely efficient photodiode and solar cell using a novel nanoneedle structure to create a large internal field for electron-hole amplification and collection, and a plasmonic antenna for optical field enhancement.  Both of which work together to result in an extremely high efficiency. Investigators at UCB have demonstrated one version of this detector in the format of an avalanche photodetector (APD) based upon a crystalline GaAs nanostructure in the shape of a very sharp nanoneedle (NN) and incorporating a core-shell p-n junction for light detection. The tapered NN shape, high NN aspect ratio, and small NN dimension together allow a low bias voltage to produce a high electric field sufficient for current multiplication for high sensitivity. NN APDs also have an extremely high operation speed due to the reduced capacitance comimg from the small NN dimensions. The catalyst-free, low-temperature growth mode of the GaAs NNs also enables the integration to the as-fabricated Si CMOS devices as well as other crystalline or amorphous substrates.

Suggested uses

(1) Photodetectors for optical interconnect applications for Si circuits.
(2) Photodetectors for battery-powered applications since NN APDs have low bias voltages.
(3) Solar cells on Si or other substrates, including flexible substrates.
(4) Light emitters for optical interconnect applications.
(5) Opto-fluidic applications since NNs can be made hollow to carry fluid.

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