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Strong Light-Matter Interactions in Heterostructures of Atomically Thin Films

TitleStrong Light-Matter Interactions in Heterostructures of Atomically Thin Films
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsBritnell, L., Ribeiro R. M., Eckmann A., Jalil R., Belle B. D., Mishchenko A., Kim Y. - J., Gorbachev R. V., Georgiou T., Morozov S. V., Grigorenko A. N., Geim A. K., Casiraghi C., Neto Castro A. H., and Novoselov K. S.
Date Published06/2014
ISSN0036-8075, 1095-9203

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 ({TMDCs)/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 ampere per watt (corresponding to an external quantum efficiency of above 30%). Atomic Layer {Heterostructures—More} Is More The isolation of stable layers of various materials, only an atom or several atoms thick, has provided the opportunity to fabricate devices with novel functionality and to probe fundamental physics. Britnell et al. (p. 1311, published online 2 May; see the Perspective by Hamm and Hess) sandwiched a single layer of the transition metal dichalcogenide {WS2} between two sheets of graphene. The photocurrent response of the heterostructure device was enhanced, compared to that of the bare layer of {WS2.} The prospect of combining single or several-atom-thick layers into heterostructures should help to develop materials with a wide range of properties.


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