3D Printed Polymer Photodetectors

Sung Hyun Park, Ruitao Su, Jaewoo Jeong, Shuang Zhuang Guo, Kaiyan Qiu, Daeha Joung, Fanben Meng, Michael C. McAlpine

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Extrusion-based 3D printing, an emerging technology, has been previously used in the comprehensive fabrication of light-emitting diodes using various functional inks, without cleanrooms or conventional microfabrication techniques. Here, polymer-based photodetectors exhibiting high performance are fully 3D printed and thoroughly characterized. A semiconducting polymer ink is printed and optimized for the active layer of the photodetector, achieving an external quantum efficiency of 25.3%, which is comparable to that of microfabricated counterparts and yet created solely via a one-pot custom built 3D-printing tool housed under ambient conditions. The devices are integrated into image sensing arrays with high sensitivity and wide field of view, by 3D printing interconnected photodetectors directly on flexible substrates and hemispherical surfaces. This approach is further extended to create integrated multifunctional devices consisting of optically coupled photodetectors and light-emitting diodes, demonstrating for the first time the multifunctional integration of multiple semiconducting device types which are fully 3D printed on a single platform. The 3D-printed optoelectronic devices are made without conventional microfabrication facilities, allowing for flexibility in the design and manufacturing of next-generation wearable and 3D-structured optoelectronics, and validating the potential of 3D printing to achieve high-performance integrated active electronic materials and devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1803980
JournalAdvanced Materials
Issue number40
Early online dateAug 28 2018
StateE-pub ahead of print - Aug 28 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
S.H.P. and R.S. contributed equally to this work. M.C.M. acknowledges the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering of the National Institutes of Health (Award No. 1DP2EB020537). The content was solely the responsibility of the authors and did not necessarily represent the official views of the National Institutes of Health. M.C.M. acknowledges generous support by The Boeing Company and the State of Minnesota MnDRIVE. The authors also thank Dr. Nathan Carter and Ghazaleh Haghiashtiani for their valuable comments during the preparation of the paper. Portions of this work were conducted in the Minnesota Nano Center, which is supported by the National Science Foundation through the National Nano Coordinated Infrastructure Network (NNCI) under Award Number ECCS-1542202.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim


  • 3D printing
  • 3D printing functional materials
  • optical sensors
  • photodetectors
  • photonic devices

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article


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