High-performance photodetectors are critical for high-speed optical communication and environmental sensing, and flexible photodetectors can be used for a wide range of portable or wearable applications. Here we demonstrate the all-printable fabrication of polycrystalline nanowire-based high-performance photodetectors on flexible substrates. Systematic investigations have shown their ultra-high photoconductive gain, responsivity and detectivity up to 3.3 × 10 17 Jones. Further analysis shows that their high performance originates from the unique band-edge modulation along the nanowire axial direction, where the existence of Schottky barriers in series leads to highly suppressed dark current of the device and also gives rise to fast photoelectric response to low-intensity optical signal owing to barrier height modulation. The discovered rationale in this work can be utilized as guideline to design high-performance photodetectors with other nanomaterial systems. The developed fabrication scheme opens up possibility for future flexible and high-performance integrated optoelectronic sensor circuitry.
Nanowire photodetectors offer a high sensitivity arising from their geometry that makes them of interest for optoelectronic devices. Here, the authors demonstrate the printable fabrication of ZnO nanowires with high detectivity, making them suitable for high-performance flexible electronics applications.