Utilizing Ultraviolet Photons to Generate Single-Photon Emitters in Semiconductor Monolayers

Wei Wang, Leighton O. Jones, Jia Shiang Chen, George C. Schatz, Xuedan Ma*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


The understanding and controlled creation of atomic defects in semiconductor transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are highly relevant to their applications in high-performance quantum optics and nanoelectronic devices. Here, we demonstrate a versatile approach in generating single-photon emitters in MoS2monolayers using widely attainable UV light. We discover that only defects engendered by UV photons in vacuum exhibit single-photon-emitter characteristics, whereas those created in air lack quantum emission attributes. In combination with theoretical calculations, we assign the defects generated in vacuum to unpassivated sulfur vacancies, whose highly localized midgap states give rise to single-photon emission. In contrast, UV irradiation of the MoS2monolayers in air results in oxygen-passivated sulfur vacancies, whose optical properties are likely governed by their pristine band-To-defect band optical transitions. These findings suggest that widely available light sources such as UV light can be utilized for creating quantum photon sources in TMDs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)21240-21247
Number of pages8
JournalACS nano
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 27 2022


  • UV irradiation
  • oxygen-passivated defect
  • quantum defect
  • single-photon emitter
  • sulfur vacancy
  • transition metal dichalcogenides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • General Materials Science


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