Superlattices of Atomically Thin Materials with Strong Light Absorption for Next-Generation Optical Devices

­A design and method to create superlattices, alternating stacks of two-dimensional materials and semiconductors to obtain strong light absorption.

Problem:
Next-generation optical technologies like light detection and ranging (LiDAR) and on-chip optical modulators have wide-ranging applications in autonomous vehicles, device communication, and computing. Unfortunately, existing technologies are hampered by their sensitivity, often requiring specific substrates and operating environments. Two-dimensional materials like transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have highly desirable optical and electronic properties for such applications, but offer uneven sample thickness, small lateral dimensions, and weak light absorption.

Solution:
The researchers developed a method to create semiconductor-TMD superlattices. These superlattices offer controllable thickness, device-scale lateral size, and strong light absorption. In addition, they maintain the quantum effects found in TMD monolayers such as exciton-polariton splitting. This introduces exciting avenues for optical device engineering.

Technology:
TMDs offer an excellent platform for optical devices due to their direct bandgap, strong quantum confinement, and nonradiative exciton-hole energy loss. The authors were inspired by these benefits to devise a method to harness TMDs’ upsides while mitigating the downsides of sample preparation and geometry. They accomplished this by stacking TMDs and thin semiconductors together using a wet chemical transfer process. This stabilizes the TMDs and enables quantum device designs on the order of square centimeters.

Advantages:

  • Method creates samples on the order of 1 cm2 for real-world device applications
  • Superlattices exhibit over 80% light absorption at TMD excitonic frequency
  • Preserves quantum effects of the monolayer TMDs, including exciton-polariton Rabi splitting up to 170 meV
  • Cavity mode quality factor as large as 300
  • Operates at room temperature

Stage of Development:

  • Concept
  • Proof of Concept

Structure of a superlattice combining 2D TMD sheets with nanometer-scale semiconductor slabs. Such a superlattice offers over 80% light absorption at the TMD exciton peak and hosts interesting quantum effects like exciton-polariton splitting. 

Intellectual Property: 

  • US Provisional Filed 

Reference Media: 

Desired Partnerships: 

  • License
  • Co-development  </rss.partnerships

Docket 21-9665 

Website

https://upenn.technologypublisher.com/technology/47308

Contact Information

TTO Home Page: https://upenn.technologypublisher.com

Name: Qishui Chen

Title: Licensing Officer, SEAS/SAS Licensing Group

Department: Penn Center for Innovation

Email: qchen1@upenn.edu

Phone: 215-898-9591