Photoresponse of polyaniline-functionalized graphene quantum dots†
Polyaniline-functionalized graphene quantum dots (PANI-GQD) and pristine graphene quantum dots (GQDs) were utilized for optoelectronic devices. The PANI-GQD based photodetector exhibited higher responsivity which is about an order of magnitude at 405 nm and 7 folds at 532 nm as compared to GQD-based photodetectors. The improved photoresponse is attributed to the enhanced interconnection of GQD by island-like polymer matrices, which facilitate carrier transport within the polymer matrices. The optically tunable current–voltage (I–V) hysteresis of PANI-GQD was also demonstrated. The hysteresis magnifies progressively with light intensity at a scan range of ±1 V. Both GQD and PANI-GQD devices change from positive to negative photocurrent when the bias reaches 4 V. Photogenerated carriers are excited to the trapping states in GQDs with increased bias. The trapped charges interact with charges injected from the electrodes which results in a net decrease of free charge carriers and a negative photocurrent. The photocurrent switching phenomenon in GQD and PANI-GQD devices may open up novel applications in optoelectronics.