Mid-infrared photodetection devices are devices that are capable of detecting light in the mid-infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum, which ranges from approximately 2 to 25 micrometers (µm) in wavelength. These devices have a wide range of applications in various fields, including chemical sensing, environmental monitoring, biomedical imaging, and security and surveillance. One major application of mid-infrared photodetection devices is in gas sensing, where they can be used to detect trace amounts of gases in the atmosphere. For example, they can be used to detect harmful gases such as carbon monoxide (CO), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and methane (CH4) in industrial and environmental settings. In biomedical imaging, mid-infrared photodetection devices can be used for non-invasive diagnosis of diseases such as cancer and diabetes, as well as for monitoring glucose levels in diabetics. Mid-infrared photodetection devices can also be used in security and surveillance applications, such as in airport security scanners and surveillance cameras. They can also be used for facial recognition and other biometric applications.
In a recent peer-reviewed paper published in the prestigious journal Materials & Design, Dr. Haoran Li and Dr. Zhibin Yang from the Tianjin University presented an expert opinion of the current status of mid-infrared photodetection devices based on 2D heterostructures. As they analyze the detailed properties of mid-infrared photodetection devices and put their knowledge and experience on display by adding some new useful concepts.
In order to study a wide variety of possible applications for mid-infrared photodetection, the authors focused on the innovative utilization of 2D/nD heterostructures. The scientists believe that these heterostructures are ready to revolutionize the performance and efficiency of these devices, pushing the boundaries of what was previously thought to be possible. The widespread use of mid-infrared photodetection devices has been hindered by long-standing issues, such as poor detectivity, sluggish reaction times, and high operating temperatures, which researchers are now able to overcome by using the unique qualities of these heterostructures that may also be used to overcome some other difficulties that photodetection devices face during their usage.
Li and Yang reported four main types of heterostructures when they delve more into the complexities of these mid-IR materials. These are 2D/2D, 2D/1D, 2D/0D, and 2D/3D heterostructures. As each of these configurations has a unique set of advantages and application possibilities, we may see each as significant in and of itself. For instance, high-performance photodetection may be possible in 2D/2D heterostructures, but reaction time and temperature stability in 2D/1D structures seem promising. These two qualities are crucial for electrical gadgets. The unique qualities of 2D/0D and 2D/3D heterostructures are also explored by the authors, as well as how these structures can usher in a new age of innovation in the field of mid-infrared photodetection.
The authors emphasized throughout their evaluation how crucial it is to use the right materials, to optimize the design, and to employ approaches for device production when it comes to realizing the full potential of these heterostructures. By highlighting various noteworthy studies that have successfully incorporated these materials into photodetection systems, they paid attention to the practical instances of the advancement being made in this field. The authors also provided a thorough assessment of the most current developments in the area and delve into the underlying physics and mechanisms that govern the operation of these devices.
As the narrative of mid-infrared photodetection devices continues to develop, Drs. Li and Yang bring their assessment to a close by turning their attention to the future and presenting a distinct way ahead for the development of the pitch. They stressed the need of continuing research into new materials, inventive device architectures, and enhanced techniques of production. In addition, they implied that interdepartmental partnerships involving physicists, device engineers, and material scientists might pave the way for the next generation of high-performance mid-IR photodetection systems. In summary, the tale of mid-infrared photodetection devices and 2D/nD heterostructures is one of exploration and discovery. Researchers are always working to uncover the mysteries of these materials and make use of their distinctive qualities in order to progress technological development. Mid-infrared photodetection devices are indeed a valuable technology with a wide range of applications, particularly in chemical sensing, biomedical imaging, and security and surveillance. As the technology continues to improve, it is likely that their applications will only continue to expand.
Haoran Li, Zhibin Yang, Recent progress in mid-infrared photodetection devices using 2D/nD (n=0, 1, 2, 3) heterostructures, Materials & Design, (2023), 225, 111446.