This paper reviews the mechanisms underlying visible light detection based on phototransistors fabricated using amorphous oxide semiconductor technology. Although this family of materials is perceived to be optically transparent, the presence of oxygen deficiency defects, such as vacancies, located at subgap states, and their ionization under illumination, gives rise to absorption of blue and green photons. At higher energies, we have the usual band-to-band absorption. In particular, the oxygen defects remain ionized even after illumination ceases, leading to persistent photoconductivity, which can limit the frame-rate of active matrix imaging arrays. However, the persistence in photoconductivity can be overcome through deployment of a gate pulsing scheme enabling realistic frame rates for advanced applications such as sensor-embedded display for touch-free interaction.
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