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Two-Dimensional Materials Combined to Produce 'quantum Led'

By IEEE Spectrum

October 14, 2016

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Devices made from thin layers of graphene, boron nitride, and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) can generate a single photon entirely by electricity. Built by researchers at the University of Cambridge, the devices are all-electrical ultra-thin quantum light-emitting diodes (LEDs). The TMD layers provide a tightly confined area in two dimensions where electrons fill in holes. When an electron moves into one of the holes that reside at a lower energy, the difference in energy produces a photon.

The researchers demonstrated that TMDs of tungsten diselenide can operate electrically as a quantum emitter. Moreover, they demonstrated that TMDs of tungsten disulfide are a new class of quantum emitter that can offer all-electrical single-photon generation in the visible spectrum.The team believes the device will bring on-chip single-photon emission for quantum communication closer to reality.

"Ultimately, we need fully integrated devices that we can control by electrical impulses, instead of a laser that focuses on different segments of an integrated circuit," says Cambridge professor Mete Atatüre. "For quantum communication with single photons, and quantum networks between different nodes, we want to be able to just drive current and get light out."

From IEEE Spectrum
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