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Changing the World through Creative Research

Organic Upconversion Imager with Dual Electronic and Optical Readouts for Shortwave Infrared Light Detection


There remains a critical need for large-area imaging technologies that operate in the shortwave infrared spectral region. Upconversion imagers that combine photo-sensing and display in a compact structure are attractive since they avoid the costly and complex process of pixilation. However, upconversion device research has primarily focused on the optical output, while electronic signals from the imager remain underutilized. Here, we designed and demonstrated an organic upconversion imager that is efficient in both optical and electronic readouts, extending the capability of human and machine vision to 1400 nm. The imager structure incorporates interfacial layers to suppress non-radiative recombination and provide enhanced optical upconversion efficiency and electronic detectivity. The photoresponse is comparable to state-of-the-art organic infrared photodiodes exhibiting a high external quantum efficiency ≤ 35% at a low bias ≤ 3 V and 3dB bandwidth of 10 kHz. The large active area of 2 cm2 enables demonstrations such as object inspection, imaging through smog, and concurrent recording of blood vessel location and blood flow pulses. These examples showcase the potential of our dual readout imager to directly upconvert infrared light for human visual perception and simultaneously yield electronic signals for automated monitoring applications.    

Adv Funct Mater 31 2100565 (2021)