Optical Communication with Perovskites

The film in the new perovskite, which contains only inorganic elements (caesium, lead, iodine and bromine), has been tested in a system for optical communication, which confirmed its ability to transfer both text and images, rapidly and reliably. (Source: T. Balkhed)

Researchers at the univer­sities in Linköping and Shenzhen have shown how an inorganic perovskite can be made into a cheap and efficient photo­detector that transfers both text and music. “It’s a promising material for future rapid optical communi­cation”, says Feng Gao, researcher at Linköping Univer­sity. “Perov­skites of inorganic materials have a huge potential to influence the develop­ment of optical communi­cation. These materials have rapid response times, are simple to manu­facture, and are extremely stable.”

All optical communi­cation requires rapid and reliable photo­detectors. Current optical communi­cation systems use photo­detectors made from materials such as silicon and indium gallium arsenide. But these are expensive, partly because they are compli­cated to manufacture. Moreover, these materials cannot to be used in some new devices, such as mechani­cally flexible, light-weight or large-area devices. Researcher have been seeking cheap replace­ment, or at least supple­mentary, materials for many years, and have looked at, for example, organic semi­conductors. However, the charge transport of these has proved to be too slow. A photo­detector must be rapid.

The new perovskite materials have been extremely interes­ting in research since 2009, but the focus has been on their use in solar cells and efficient light-emitting diodes. Perov­skites form a completely new family of semi­conducting materials that are defined by their crystal structures. They have good light-emitting properties and are easy to manu­facture. For appli­cations such as light-emitting diodes and efficient solar cells, most interest has been placed on perov­skites that consist of an organic substance, metal, and halogen like fluorine, chlorine, bromine or iodine ions. However, when this compo­sition was used in photo­detectors, it proved to be too unstable.

The results changed, however, when Chunxiong Bao used the right materials, and managed to optimise the manu­facturing process and the structure of the film. The film in the new perov­skite, which contains only inor­ganic elements (caesium, lead, iodine and bromine), has been tested in a system for optical communication, which confirmed its ability to transfer both text and images, rapidly and reliably. The quality didn’t deterio­rate, even after 2,000 hours at room tempera­ture. “It’s very gratifying that we have already achieved results that are very close to appli­cation,” says Gao, who leads the research, together with Wenjing Zhang at Shenzhen Uni­versity. (Source: Linköping U.)

Reference: C. Bao et al.: High Performance and Stable All‐Inorganic Metal Halide Perovskite‐Based Photodetectors for Optical Communication Applications, Adv. Mat. 30, 1803422 (2018); DOI: 10.1002/adma.201803422

Link: Dept. of Physics, Chemistry, and Biology (IFM), Linköping University, Linköping, Sweden

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