University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill researchers have demonstrated that self-powered polycrystalline perovskite photodetectors can rival the commercial silicon photomultipliers (SiPMs) for photon counting.
The new type of photon counting detector could have applications in consumer electronics, sensors, optical communication, radiation detection, and more. It could also offer safer medical imaging and enhance nighttime photography. The team's recent work could open up various new applications of photon counting for perovskites that use their unique defect properties. Compared to current technologies on the market, the team’s technology is reportedly more cost effective and does not require external power sources, broadening the scope of how the technology can be applied
The research group aspired to create technology to improve current photon detectors (SiPMs, or silicon photomultipliers) since current detectors are limited in functionality and in how they can be applied. To address these problems, they wanted to develop technology that can detect and measure weak light in a way that is cost-effective and with high confidence.
Since the new perovskite-based detector is not as sensitive to temperature or as susceptible to magnetic fields, it can be used for a broader range of scientific and everyday applications than current photon detectors.
Perovskites are not very stable when subjected to external power sources. Uniquely, the new detectors are self-powered simplified electronics that do not require the application of power. Instead of using external power sources like batteries, power is generated from detected light and results in increased stability.