Carbon nanotube woven textile photodetector
Tsentalovich, Dmitri E.
Soundarapandian, Karuppasamy P.
The increasing interest in mobile and wearable technology demands the enhancement of functionality of clothing through incorporation of sophisticated architectures of multifunctional materials. Flexible electronic and photonic devices based on organic materials have made impressive progress over the past decade, but higher performance, simpler fabrication, and most importantly, compatibility with woven technology are desired. Here we report on the development of a weaved, substrateless, and polarization-sensitive photodetector based on doping-engineered fibers of highly aligned carbon nanotubes. This room-temperature-operating, self-powered detector responds to radiation in an ultrabroad spectral range, from the ultraviolet to the terahertz, through the photothermoelectric effect, with a low noise-equivalent power (a few nW/Hz1/2) throughout the range and with a ZT-factor value that is twice as large as that of previously reported carbon nanotube-based photothermoelectric photodetectors. Particularly, we fabricated a ∼1-m-long device consisting of tens of p+−p− junctions and weaved it into a shirt. This device demonstrated a collective photoresponse of the series-connected junctions under global illumination. The performance of the device did not show any sign of deterioration through 200 bending tests with a bending radius smaller than 100 μm as well as standard washing and ironing cycles. This unconventional photodetector will find applications in wearable technology that require detection of electromagnetic radiation.