Strong Light-Matter Interactions in Heterostructures of Atomically Thin Films

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Science  02 May 2013:
DOI: 10.1126/science.1235547

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The isolation of various two-dimensional (2D) materials, and the possibility to combine them in vertical stacks, has created a new paradigm in materials science: heterostructures based on 2D crystals. Such a concept has already proven fruitful for a number of electronic applications in the area of ultrathin and flexible devices. Here, we expand the range of such structures to photoactive ones by using semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDC)/graphene stacks. Van Hove singularities in the electronic density of states of TMDC guarantees enhanced light-matter interactions, leading to enhanced photon absorption and electron-hole creation (which are collected in transparent graphene electrodes). This allows development of extremely efficient flexible photovoltaic devices with photoresponsivity above 0.1 A/W (corresponding to an external quantum efficiency of above 30%).

  • * On leave from Department of Physics, Boston University, USA.

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