Tunable Quantum Tunneling through a Graphene/Bi2Se3 Heterointerface for the Hybrid Photodetection Mechanism

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Graphene-based van der Waals heterostructures are promising building blocks for broadband photodetection because of the gapless nature of graphene. However, their performance is mostly limited by the inevitable trade-off between low dark current and photocurrent generation. Here, we demonstrate a hybrid photodetection mode based on the photogating effect coupled with the photovoltaic effect via tunable quantum tunneling through the unique graphene/Bi2Se3 heterointerface. The tunneling junction formed between the semimetallic graphene and the topologically insulating Bi2Se3 exhibits asymmetric rectifying and hysteretic current-voltage characteristics, which significantly suppresses the dark current and enhances the photocurrent. The photocurrent-to-dark current ratio increases by about a factor of 10 with the electrical tuning of tunneling resistance for efficient light detection covering the major photonic spectral band from the visible to the mid-infrared ranges. Our findings provide a novel concept of using tunable quantum tunneling for highly sensitive broadband photodetection in mixed-dimensional van der Waals heterostructures.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)58927-58935
Number of pages9
JournalACS applied materials & interfaces
Issue number49
Publication statusPublished - 15 Dec 2021
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • tunable quantum tunneling
  • graphene
  • topological insulator
  • heterointerface
  • asymmetric barrier
  • hybrid photodetection


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