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Solution-processed graphene quantum dots (GQDs) possess a moderate bandgap, which make them a promising candidate for optoelectronics devices. However, negative photoconductivity (NPC) and hysteresis that happen in the photoelectric conversion process could be harmful to performance of the GQDs-based devices. So far, their origins and relations have remained elusive. Here, we investigate experimentally the origins of the NPC and hysteresis in GQDs. By comparing the hysteresis and photoconductance of GQDs under different relative humidity conditions, we are able to demonstrate that NPC and hysteresis coexist in GQDs and both are attributed to the carrier trapping effect of surface adsorbed moisture. We also demonstrate that GQDs could exhibit positive photoconductivity with three-order-of-magnitude reduction of hysteresis after a drying process and a subsequent encapsulation. Considering the pervasive moisture adsorption, our results may pave the way for a commercialization of semiconducting graphene-based and diverse solution-based optoelectronic devices.


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