Thin-film Optoelectronics
CREOL The College of Optics & Photonics

Organic Photodetectors

We develop photodetectors based on organic molecules and polymers. These materials have strong optical absorption that is controllable across the visible and near-infrared spectrum via the molecular composition of the photodetector. The strong absorption allows fabrication of devices with thin active regions (typically < 100 nanometers). The thin-film nature of these devices enables fabrication of flexible and/or large-area photodetectors for a variety of sensing and imaging applications.

Hemispherical Focal Plane Arrays

A simple lens focuses to a curved surface due to Petzval field curvature. However, modern imagers rely on flat image sensors that evolved from wafer-based semiconductor fabrication technology. Consequently, imager design focuses on flattening this field to improve image quality - resulting in stringent trade-offs between lens complexity, field-of-view (FOV) and image quality. This project is developing non-planar focal plane arrays similar to image sensors found in biological imaging systems such as the human eye. These sensor arrays could lead to the next generation of imaging systems and enable dramatic improvements in compact, wide FOV imagers.

Organic LEDs

The development of organic LEDs have revolutionized the display industry. These energy efficient emitters can be fabricated over large areas using inexpensive techniques and materials to make displays for a wide variety of devices. OLED displays are more power efficient, provide higher contrast, faster modulation rates, and improved durability (when fabricated on flexible substrates) than preceding flat panel displays based on LCD filters. Consequently, you’ll find OLED displays in most new devices including watches, phones and full-size flat panel TVs. Our research focuses on the design of materials and devices to increase brightness and improve optical outcoupling of OLEDs for displays and lighting.

Hybrid Organic/Inorganic Solar Cells

Solar radiation is the most abundant renewable energy source available and offers the best potential to meet global energy needs in a sustainable way. However, the power density of sunlight is low, typically about 1 watt per square meter, and this poses a big challenge to generating substantial amounts of electrical power from this plentiful resource. Photovoltaics (AKA solar cells) are the most common solar energy harvesting devices because they directly convert sunlight into electrical energy. Our research is focused on development of thin-film photovoltaic technologies that can be fabricated cost-effectively over large areas to facilitate the high-volume deployment of solar cells.

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