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Superior Flexible Phototransistor Made

Category: Science & Technology
Posted: 07:41AM

Along with making devices smaller, many researchers are also working to make various pieces of technology flexible. This includes the light sensors we can find in digital cameras, night vision goggles, and even smoke detectors. To that end, researchers at the University of Wisconsin, Madison have recently created a new flexible phototransistor that surpasses others in many parameters, including sensitivity and response time.

Phototransistors are the components that collect light and convert the photons into electrical currents to create digital images. Normally they are built on rigid surfaces, but in this case they are transferred to a flexible plastic substrate, inverting the device in the process. This inversion is actually key to the sensor's capabilities as it puts the light-absorbing silicon layer on the top while the reflective metal layers and other materials are underneath it. This prevents the light from being blocked by the transistor itself, and improves the light absorption as well because the photons can reflect off of the metal layer, and back to the silicon. This gives it a built-in ability to detect weak light.

This is the first time high-sensitivity photodetection and flexibility have been achieved in the same device, and it opens up many possibilities.

Source: University of Wisconsin, Madison

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