Spectrally Selective Mid-Infrared (IR) Graphene-VO2 Photodetector Operates Close to Room Temperature

Technology #2022-002

Key Points

  • Mid-IR light detector based on hybrid nanopatterned graphene and vanadium oxide heterostructure operates close to room temperature
  • Reaches detectivities of cryogenically cooled HgCdTe photodetectors and sensitivities larger than VO2 microbolometers
  • Detects poisonous gases and viruses, such as COVID-19 and its mutations


The University of Central Florida invention is an ultrasensitive mid‐infrared (mid‐IR) photodetector consisting of a hybrid heterostructure made of nanopatterned graphene (NPG) and vanadium dioxide (VO2). Compared to current VO2 microbolometers, the graphene‐VO2 photodetector is spectrally selective and has higher sensitivity. The substantial increase in sensitivity is because the nanopatterned graphene sheet creates sufficient heat to trigger an insulator‐to‐metal phase transition in VO2, which results in an enormous change in conductivity and photocurrent. These detectors could be used in applications like night‐vision goggles, thermal cameras, infrared spectroscopy (including the detection of poisonous gases and viruses, such as COVID‐19 and its mutations).


  • Spectrally selective and has higher sensitivity than current VO2 microbolometers
  • Offers improved sensitivity and tunable detection in an uncooled detector

Market Application

  • Infrared photodetector