Ultra-Flexible Visible-Blind Optoelectronics for Wired and Wireless UV Sensing in Harsh Environments

Guanghui Li, Yao Yao, Nikhil Ashok, Xin Ning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Exploring remote destinations on Earth and in space such as the Antarctic and Mars is of great significance to science and technology. Ultraviolet (UV) irradiation at those locations is usually strong due to the depletion or absence of ozone, which is often accompanied by strong visible light interference and harsh environments with extreme temperatures. Those exploration missions extensively utilize flexible and foldable membranes and shells to meet the extreme requirements on structural size and weight. Ultra-flexible UV photodetectors (PDs) capable of surviving harsh environments with additional ability to integrate on flexible and foldable structures for in situ visible-blind UV sensing are critical to the protection of human explorers and engineering materials. However, the development of such UV PDs remains challenging. Here, this work introduces wired and wireless optoelectronic devices based on visible-blind, ultra-flexible, sub-micron nanocomposites of zinc oxide nanoparticles and single-walled carbon nanotubes. In-depth studies demonstrate their operation at cold and hot temperatures and low air pressure. Those PDs can employ flexible near-field communication circuits for wireless, battery-free data acquisition. Their ultra-flexibility allows folding into a sharp crease and conformal integration to flexible and origami structures, bringing further opportunities for UV detection in demanding missions on Earth and in space.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2001125
JournalAdvanced Materials Technologies
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • battery-free
  • harsh environments
  • ultra-flexible UV sensors
  • visible-blind
  • wireless

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering


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