Dr Leslie Askew

Development of an artificial retinal prototype in four colours with organic semiconductors

Academic and research departments

Nanoelectronics Centre, Advanced Technology Institute.


M. Shkunov, A. N Solodukhin, P. Giannakou, L. Askew , Yu. N Luponosov, D. O Balakirev, N. K Kalinichenko, I. P. Marko, S. J. Sweeney, S. A Ponomarenko (2021)Pixelated full-colour small molecule semiconductor devices towards artificial retinas, In: Journal of Materials Chemistry C Materials for optical and electronic devices9pp. 5858-5867

Opto-stimulation of semiconductor-biointerfaces provides efficient pathways towards eliciting neural activity through selective spectral excitation. In visual prosthesis, tri-colour stimulation capability is the key to restoring full-colour vision. Here we report on investigation of organic photoactive π-conjugated donor–acceptor small molecules based on triphenylamine whose absorption spectra are similar to those of the photoreceptors of the human eye. Photoactive device fabrication and characterisation towards full colour, pixelated retinal prosthesis based on inkjet printing of these molecules is demonstrated, with round pixels reaching 25 microns in diameter. Photo-response is studied via interfacing with biological electrolyte solution and using long-pulse, narrow-band excitation. Both photo-voltage and photo-current responses in the devices with a ZnO hole-blocking interlayer show clear signatures of capacitive charging at the electrolyte/device interface, also demonstrating spectral selectivity comparable to that of human eye’ cones and rods.