“TMDC layers act as very efficient light absorbers and graphene as a transparent conductive layer. This allows for further integration of such photovoltaic devices into more complex, more multifunctional heterostructures,” said the University of Manchester, which as teamed up with the National University of Singapore.
The researchers have expanded the functionality of 2D crystals to optoelectronics and photonics, says Manchester University. By combining graphene with monolayers of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC), they were able to create “extremely sensitive and efficient photovoltaic devices”. These could potentially be used as ultrasensitive photodetectors, or very efficient solar cells.
“We are excited about the new physics and new opportunities which are brought to us by heterostructures based on 2D atomic crystals,” said Professor Novoselov. “The library of available 2D crystals is already quite rich, covering a large parameter space.”
“Such photoactive heterostructures add yet new possibilities, and pave the road for new types of experiments. As we create more and more complex heterostructures, so the functionalities of the devices will become richer, entering the realm of multifunctional devices.”