Scientists have discovered a new laser processing method to passivate defects in next-generation optical materials to improve optical quality and enable the miniaturization of light-emitting diodes and other optical elements.
From a chemistry standpoint, they have discovered a new photocatalytic reaction using laser light and water molecules. The research enables the integration of high-quality, optically active, atomically thin material in a variety of applications, such as electronics, electro-catalysts, memory, and quantum computing applications.
In a traditional LED, approximately 90 percent of the device is a heat sink to improve cooling. Reduced defects enable smaller devices to consume less power, which results in a longer operational lifetime for distributed sensors and low-power electronics.
The versatile laser processing technique significantly improves the optical properties of monolayer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) – a direct gap semiconductor – with high spatial resolution. The process produces a 100-fold increase in the material’s optical emission efficiency in the areas “written” with the laser beam.
Atomically thin layers of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), such as MoS2, are promising components for flexible devices, solar cells, and optoelectronic sensors due to their high optical absorption and direct band gap.
The semiconducting materials are particularly advantageous in applications where weight and flexibility are at a premium. Unfortunately, their optical properties are often highly variable and non-uniform making it critical to improve and control the optical properties of these TMD materials to realize reliable high-efficiency devices.