Enhanced light-matter interaction in two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides

Lujun Huang, Alex Krasnok, Andrea Alú, Yiling Yu, Dragomir Neshev, Andrey E. Miroshnichenko*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

    85 Citations (Scopus)


    Two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDC) materials, such as MoS2, WS2, MoSe2, and WSe2, have received extensive attention in the past decade due to their extraordinary electronic, optical and thermal properties. They evolve from indirect bandgap semiconductors to direct bandgap semiconductors while their layer number is reduced from a few layers to a monolayer limit. Consequently, there is strong photoluminescence in a monolayer (1L) TMDC due to the large quantum yield. Moreover, such monolayer semiconductors have two other exciting properties: large binding energy of excitons and valley polarization. These properties make them become ideal materials for various electronic, photonic and optoelectronic devices. However, their performance is limited by the relatively weak light-matter interactions due to their atomically thin form factor. Resonant nanophotonic structures provide a viable way to address this issue and enhance light-matter interactions in 2D TMDCs. Here, we provide an overview of this research area, showcasing relevant applications, including exotic light emission, absorption and scattering features. We start by overviewing the concept of excitons in 1L-TMDC and the fundamental theory of cavity-enhanced emission, followed by a discussion on the recent progress of enhanced light emission, strong coupling and valleytronics. The atomically thin nature of 1L-TMDC enables a broad range of ways to tune its electric and optical properties. Thus, we continue by reviewing advances in TMDC-based tunable photonic devices. Next, we survey the recent progress in enhanced light absorption over narrow and broad bandwidths using 1L or few-layer TMDCs, and their applications for photovoltaics and photodetectors. We also review recent efforts of engineering light scattering, e.g., inducing Fano resonances, wavefront engineering in 1L or few-layer TMDCs by either integrating resonant structures, such as plasmonic/Mie resonant metasurfaces, or directly patterning monolayer/few layers TMDCs. We then overview the intriguing physical properties of different van der Waals heterostructures, and their applications in optoelectronic and photonic devices. Finally, we draw our opinion on potential opportunities and challenges in this rapidly developing field of research.

    Original languageEnglish
    Article number046401
    JournalReports on Progress in Physics
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Apr 2022


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