Quantized electronic transitions in electrodeposited copper indium selenide nanocrystalline homojunctions

Sci Rep. 2021 Feb 17;11(1):3957. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-83526-0.


Pairing semiconductors with electrochemical processing offers an untapped opportunity to create novel nanostructures for practical devices. Here we report the results of one such pairing: the in-situ formation of highly-doped, interface-matched, sharp nanocrystalline homojunctions (NHJs) with single step electrodeposition of two copper-indium-selenide (CISe) compounds on flexible foil. It produces a homogenous film, comprising inherently ordered, 3-dimensional interconnected network of pn-CISe NHJs. These CISe NHJs exhibit surprising non-linear emissions, quantized transitions, large carrier mobility, low trap-state-density, long carrier lifetime and possible up-conversion. They facilitate efficient separation of minority carriers, reduce recombination and essentially function like quantum materials. This approach mitigates the material issues and complex fabrication of incumbent nanoscale heterojunctions; it also overcomes the flexibility and scale-up challenges of conventional planar pn junctions. The self-stabilized CISe NHJ film can be roll-to-roll processed in ambient atmosphere, thus providing a promising platform for a range of optoelectronic technologies. This concept exemplified by CISe compounds can be adapted to create nano-scale pn junctions with other inorganic semiconductors.