Research Highlight

Ultrafast light-sensing devices for military purposes 

doi:10.1038/nindia.2017.157 Published online 21 December 2017

Researchers have synthesised a new kind of ultrafast photodetector that can sense a wide range of light, making it potentially useful for fabricating various devices for applications in the field of military and medical imaging1.

The ability to detect light over a broad spectral range in quick time can advance techniques of imaging, sensing and communication. Existing semiconducting materials used for making light-sensing devices are not as efficient. 

To make a fast photodetector, scientists from the CSIR-National Physical Laboratory in New Delhi, led by Govind Gupta, fabricated a highly sensitive photodetector using indium nitride semiconductors. They then tested its efficiency to sense light by exposing them to radiation of various wavelengths.

The photodetector was able to detect light between the visible and infrared ranges. It has micro-island-like structures on its surface that enhances its light sensitivity by increasing its light-absorbing capacity.  

The photodetector’s ability to function at room temperature will reduce the cost of making light-detecting devices. In addition, it can sense light within 38 microseconds, suggesting its potential use in a wide range of devices, particularly ones related to communications and diagnostics.

“This work offers an easy and simple way to develop high-performance light-sensing devices for optoelectronic applications” says lead researcher Gupta. 


1.  Krishna, S. et al. Ultrafast photoresponse and enhanced photoresponsivity of indium nitride based broad band photodetector. Solar. Energy. Mater. & Solar. Cells. 172, 376-383 (2017)