As the team from Bilkent University and Nanyang Technological University explains, plasmonic silver nanoparticles within the device increase the optical absorption of a CdTe nanocrystal monolayer. Controlled separation of these metallic nanoparticles in the vicinity of the semiconductor nanocrystals enables optimization of the photovoltage buildup in the device.

The enhancement factor was found to depend on the excitation wavelength. The scientists observed broadband sensitivity improvement (across 400–650 nm), with a 2.6-fold enhancement factor around the localized plasmon resonance peak.

Technology impact

The team’s findings have significant implications for the future design of photosensing platforms. These results could pave the way for the engineering of photosensitive NC-based devices such as smart transparent windows, light-sensitive walls and large-surface optical detection systems.

More information on this work can be found in the journal Nanotechnolgy.