Graphene Brings Photodetectors to the Brink of Terahertz Speeds

Researchers at the Institute of Photonic Sciences (ICFO) in Barcelona, Spain have been at the forefront of exploiting graphene’s optoelectronic capabilities.

The latest research out of ICFO has demonstrated a graphene-based ultrafast photodetector that can convert absorbed light into an electrical voltage at speeds of less than 50 femtoseconds. How fast is that? A femtosecond is a thousandth of a millionth of a millionth of a second. So fast—ultrafast.

In research published in the journal Nature Nanotechnology, the ICFO team addressed the niggling issue in graphene-based photothermoelectric devices, specifically charge carrier cooling times, which has limited their switching speeds.

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