Spatially Resolved Fourier Transform Impedance Spectroscopy and Applications to Optoelectronics


Reference #: 01502

The University of South Carolina is offering licensing opportunities for Spatially Resolved Fourier Transform Impedance Spectroscopy and Applications to Optoelectronics


The key problems that this innovation overcomes are the tradeoffs in time domain techniques used to characterize light-responsive materials as well as devices such as solar cells and photodetectors. As both the energy demands of society and the exploration of novel materials and devices to address them continue to grow, so does the need for the development of diagnostic techniques that may be seamlessly integrated with other characterization methods for rapid and comprehensive assessments of the material or device of interest.

Invention Description:

The technique has demonstrated applicability toward the characterization of junctions formed between colloidal quantum dot films and SiC, highlighting the relevancy in the ever-expanding field of nanomaterial interfaces. This technology provides rapid acquisition of the frequency response of optoelectronic devices to overcome tradeoffs associated with other time domain techniques, which will translate to higher throughput in an industrial context. The invention is synergistic with scanning experiments using optical probes and has been used to spatially map an optoelectronic device’s frequency response and obtain characteristic lengths and interfacial properties.

Potential Applications:

The invention may be used to interrogate novel material interfaces or more refined structures depending on the application needs. It is conceivable that the market for this innovation could span sectors from academic or industrial research (where the invention is used with variable hardware to characterize a system or sample) to industrial instrument development (where an optimized instrument designed to perform the innovated technique in a refined process, depending on the application needs). Immediate applications that may be envisioned include spatially mapped frequency responses and transients, scanning photocurrent microscopy, and wavelength-dependent excitation for both sub- and above-bandgap responses.

Advantages and Benefits:

Key benefits of this innovation may be applied to surpass the limitations of conventional techniques used to interrogate the frequency response of optoelectronic devices, materials, and interfaces. The invention allows rapid (<3 seconds) determination of the device’s frequency response vs. other techniques such as IMPS that can take several minutes, making it an accurate and fast method. The time-saving advantages can compound as the instrumental operating time and active user time are considered.

The innovation is also compatible with relatively inexpensive hardware: the cost of USB modules compatible with this invention can be obtained for less than $300, whereas commercial impedance analyzers, oscilloscopes, and lock-in amplifiers may cost several thousand dollars. Due to the nature of the invention and excitation by an optical probe, it is conceivable that a fully automated apparatus could be constructed to drive an ensemble of characterization techniques that may provide a wealth of information on light-responsive materials and devices.

Patent Information:
For Information, Contact:
Technology Commercialization
University of South Carolina
Mathew Kelley
Andrew Greytak
M.V.S. Chandrashekhar
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