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Light detector with record-high sensitivity to revolutionise imaging

Structure and performance of the novel photodetector
Structure and performance of the novel photodetector

EMRP projects contribute to the development of a new light detector that reaches a near-unity response ranging from ultraviolet to infrared

Present-day light detectors suffer from severe reflection losses as currently-used antireflection coatings are limited to specific wavelengths and a fixed angle of incidence. A team at Aalto University (Finland) has developed a detector which takes advantage of a nanostructured surface to capture light without such limitations. The detector has an external quantum efficiency above 96 % over the wavelength range 250–950 nm. 

Work from two EMRP projects, Traceable characterisation of thin-film materials for energy applications (ENG53 ThinErgy) and New primary standards and traceability for radiometry (SIB57 NEWSTAR), contributed to the development of the detector. The research results are published in the scientific journal Nature Photonics and the team at Aalto has also filed a patent application for the new light detector. 

The device aims to improve data quality, reduce the area of photodiodes, as well as decrease the cost per pixel and prototypes are currently being tested in imaging applications related to medicine and safety.

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