Transport at Nanoscale Interfaces Laboratory

Temperature-dependent charge carrier transfer in colloidal quantum dot/graphene infrared photodetectors

Grotevent, M. J., Hail, C. U., Yakunin, S., Bachmann, D., Kara, G., Dirin, D. N., Calame M., Poulikakos D., Kovalenko MV. & Shorubalko, I.

ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces, 13(1), 848-856. 2021

Colloidal PbS quantum dot (QD)/graphene hybrid photodetectors are emerging QD technologies for affordable infrared light detectors. By interfacing the QDs with graphene, the photosignal of these detectors is amplified, leading to high responsivity values. While these detectors have been mainly operated at room temperature, low-temperature operation is required for extending their spectral sensitivity beyond a wavelength of 3 μm. Here, we unveil the temperature-dependent response of PbS QD/graphene phototransistors by performing steady-state and time-dependent measurements over a large temperature range of 80-300 K. We find that the temperature dependence of photoinduced charge carrier transfer from the QD layer to graphene is (i) not impeded by freeze-out of the (Schottky-like) potential barrier at low temperatures, (ii) tremendously sensitive to QD surface states (surface oxidation), and (iii) minimally affected by the ligand exposure time and QD layer thickness. Moreover, the specific detectivity of our detectors increases with cooling, with a maximum measured specific detectivity of at least 1010 Jones at a wavelength of 1280 nm and a temperature of 80 K, which is an order of magnitude larger compared to the corresponding room temperature value. The temperature-A nd gate voltage-dependent characterization presented here constitutes an important step in expanding our knowledge of charge transfer at interfaces of low-dimensional materials and toward the realization of next-generation optoelectronic devices