A Rapid Response Thin-Film Plasmonic-Thermoelectric Light Detector

VOLTAGE OUTPUT OF THE LIGHT SENSORS AS A FUNCTION OF THE IRRADIATION POWER. SOURCE: HTTPS://WWW.NATURE.COM/
ARTICLES/SREP37564

Light detection and quantification is fundamental to the functioning of a broad palette of technologies. While expensive avalanche photodiodes and superconducting bolometers are examples of detectors achieving single-photon sensitivity and time resolutions down to the picosecond range, thermoelectric-based photodetectors are much more affordable alternatives that can be used to measure substantially higher levels of light power (few kW/cm2). However, in thermoelectric detectors, achieving broadband or wavelength-selective performance with high sensitivity and good temporal resolution requires careful design of the absorbing element. Here, combining the high absorptivity and low heat capacity of a nanoengineered plasmonic thin-film absorber with the robustness and linear response of a thermoelectric sensor, we present a hybrid detector for visible and near-infrared light achieving response times of the order of 100 milliseconds, almost four times shorter than the same thermoelectric device covered with a conventional absorber. Furthermore, we show an almost two times higher light-to-electricity efficiency upon replacing the conventional absorber with a plasmonic absorber. With these improvements, which are direct results of the efficiency and ultra-small thickness of the plasmonic absorber, this hybrid detector constitutes an ideal component for various medium-intensity light sensing applications requiring spectrally tailored absorption coatings with either broadband or narrowband characteristics.

Authors:  Ying Pan, Giulia Tagliabue, Hadi Eghlidi, Christian Höller, Susanne Dröscher, Guo Hong & Dimos Poulikakos

Scientific Reports 6, Article number: 37564 (2016)

doi:10.1038/srep37564

Find out more about thermoelectric sensors for light measurement at www.gRAY.greenTEG.com

More news

Thermal and Structural Performance of Geopolymer Concrete Containing Phase Change Material

Read more

U-value measurements on a roof: challenges and best practices

Read more

greenTEG is hiring!

Read more

Effects of electrode composition on heat generation in Electrical Double Layer Capacitors EDLCs

Read more

We will visit the Medtec fair in Japan

Read more

Thermal Analyses of Crushed-Rock Layers for Permafrost Protection

Read more

Where to meet us: upcoming show and fair participations

Read more

gO-Measurement System used to estimate the specific thermal capacity of building components per unit surface area

Read more
Read all