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Quantum-confined excitons in 2-dimensional materials



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Palacios-Berraquero, Carmen 


The 2-dimensional semiconductor family of materials called transition metal dichalcogenides (2d-TMDs) offers many technological advantages: low power consumption, atomically-precise interfaces, lack of nuclear spins and ease of functional integration with other 2d materials are just a few. In this work we harness the potential of these materials as a platform for quantum devices: develop a method by which we can deterministically create single-photon emitting sites in 2d-TMDs, in large-scale arrays. These we call quantum dots (QDs): quantum confinement potentials within semiconductor materials which can trap single-excitons. The single excitons recombine radiatively to emit single-photons. Single-photon sources are a crucial requirement for many quantum information technology (QIT) applications such as quantum cryptography and quantum communication. The QDs are formed by placing the flakes over substrates nano-patterned with protru- sions which induce local strain and provoke the quantum confinement of excitons at low temperatures. This method has been successfully tested in several TMD materials, hence achieving quantum light at different wavelengths. We present one of the very few systems where quantum confinement sites have been shown to be deterministically engineered in a scalable way. Moreover, we have demonstrated how the 2d-based QDs can be embedded within 2d- heterostructures to form functional quantum devices: we have used TMD monolayers along with other 2d-materials - graphene and hexagonal boron nitride - to create quan- tum light-emitting diodes that produce electrically-driven single-photons. Again, very few single-photon sources can be triggered electrically, and this provides a great ad- vantage when considering on-chip quantum technologies. Finally, we present experimental steps towards using our architecture as quantum bits: capturing single-spins inside the QDs, using field-effect type 2d-heterostructures. We are able to controllably charge the QDs with single-electrons and single-holes – a key breakthrough towards the use of spin and valley pseudospin of confined carriers in 2d-materials as a new kind of optically addressable matter qubit. This work presents the successful marriage of 2d-semiconductor technology with QIT, paving the way for 2-dimensional materials as platforms for scalable, on-chip quantum photonics.





Atatüre, Mete
Ferrari, Andrea
Robinson, Jason


quantum physics, quantum optics, single-photons, 2d materials, 2d semiconductors, 2d heterostructure, quantum dots, quantum information, quantum light emitting diode, quantum confinement


Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Awarding Institution

University of Cambridge