Probing Coherent States of Light and Matter in Two-Dimensional Semiconductors

Project: Research project

Project Details


The ability to enhance light-matter interactions in optical environments is well-established in
micro- and nano-photonics, but this has not yet been exploited for coherent phenomena in twodimensional (2D) monolayer semiconductors. The goal of this project is to use cavity-enhancement of optical transitions in integrated photonic devices to test the existence of exciton-polaritons – quantum quasi-particles of light and matter – with specific valley quantum number in 2D nanomaterials. Set apart from traditional opto-electronics device goals and Purcell decay rate enhancement in cavities, this research will specifically focus on exploring optical excitations that distinguish degenerate, but distinct, momentum valleys in the band structure, thereby revealing avenues for quantum superposition of valley excitations in low-dimensional materials.
This research project will combine several approaches from different disciplines to explore the
valley-sensitive quantum regime of optical interactions in two-dimensional semiconductors for the
first time. Valley-specific cavity-enhanced excitations will be achieved using the near-field helicity
of electromagnetic fields in the evanescent region of axisymmetric resonators. This approach will
yield a valley-selective excitation of quasi-particles in MoS2 that is controlled by light propagation
direction. I will exploit this approach for (i.) the first observation of coherent light-matter
interactions in 2D semiconductors, and (ii.) valley-sensitive quantum coupling of light to 2D
semiconductors, resulting in a new landscape for creating coherent superpositions distinguished
by valley quantum number.
These advances will achieve selective coherent excitation of valley-polarized quantum particles for the first time, enabling new avenues for exploring quantum superposition of valley excitations in low-dimensional materials by engineering optical environments. Critical for new capabilities in quantum photonic technologies that exploit the valley degree of freedom, this fundamental achievement will be a significant step in our capability to manipulate photons and coherent quantum states in compact low-dimensional nanomaterials
Effective start/end date7/15/147/14/20


  • Department of Energy (DE-SC0012130-0004)


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