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Visible Light Ultrafast Photodetector for Optical Wireless Communication Technology

Project description

A pioneering innovation for wearable OWCs

The emergence of advanced wearable electronic solutions offers new possibilities for optical wireless communications (OWCs). Wearable technology offers innovative devices for end users and provides a wide range of information and services. Today, clothes, small-size materials and devices as well as human skin are considered potential bearers of multifunctional applications. The EU-funded Light UP project intends to offer a pioneering innovation in wearable OWCs. It will develop a new category of ultra-thin and resilient photodetectors whose expected time response is a few tens of picoseconds. The innovation is based on the materialisation of the 'wide quantum well' in high-level atomically thin materials designed for this purpose to acquire perfect optical, electronic and physical properties.


From beacon fires in early civilizations to emerging light networked wireless communication in modern society, optical wireless communication technologies (OWC) continues to play a pivotal role for mankind. The emergence of flexible and wearable electronic applications are now posing novel challenges to OWC whereby clothes, mechanically flexible design materials and even the human skin are increasingly being considered as possible supports for multifunctional applications.
Light UP has the ambition to transform the scenario of wearable OWC by developing a conceptually new class of ultrathin and flexible photodetectors with an expected time response as fast as a few tens of picoseconds, greatly surpassing any rivalling present wearable technology. The groundbreaking innovation that will enable this breakthrough will be based on the realization of a so-called “wide quantum well” in high quality atomically thin materials in which the ultrafast formation of a charge dipole upon light absorption will lead to a fast on/off optical modulation of the electrical signal in transistor geometries. Atomically thin materials will be engineered ad hoc by exploiting surface chemistry to heal defect and to exert a superior control over their energy band structure in order to obtain well-suited electronic, optical, and physical properties.
This ambitious interdisciplinary exploration will thrive on the unique synergy of the complementary expertise and skills by the applicant and host group encompassing nano-chemistry, material science, engineering and physics. Hence, this project will address a forefront research program pioneering (1) the development of a scalable solution-phase scheme for chemical engineering of defect states in atomically thin semiconductors; (2) the implementation of defect-free atomically thin semiconductors in ultrafast photodetector; and (3) the realization of atomically thin ultrafast photodetectors onto technological relevant flexible substrates.



Net EU contribution
€ 212 933,76
The queen's drive northcote house
EX4 4QJ Exeter
United Kingdom

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South West (England) Devon Devon CC
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00