A synergistic assembly of nanoscale lamellar photoconductor hybrids

Nat Mater. 2009 Jan;8(1):68-75. doi: 10.1038/nmat2336. Epub 2008 Dec 7.


Highly ordered nanostructured organic/inorganic hybrids offer chemical tunability, novel functionalities and enhanced performance over their individual components. Hybrids of complementary p-type organic and n-type inorganic components have attracted interest in optoelectronics, where high-efficiency devices with minimal cost are desired. We demonstrate here self-assembly of a lamellar hybrid containing periodic and alternating 1-nm-thick sheets of polycrystalline ZnO separated by 2-3 nm layers of conjugated molecules, directly onto an electrode. Initially the electrodeposited inorganic is Zn(OH)(2), but pi-pi interactions among conjugated molecules stabilize synergistically the periodic nanostructure as it converts to ZnO at 150 degrees C. As photoconductors, normalized detectivities (D(*)) greater than 2x10(10) Jones, photocurrent gains of 120 at 1.2 V microm(-1) and dynamic ranges greater than 60 dB are observed on selective excitation of the organic. These are among the highest values measured for organic, hybrid and amorphous silicon, making them technologically competitive as low-power, wavelength-tunable, flexible and environmentally benign photoconductors.