Semiconductor Material Enables Highly Miniaturized, Efficient Photonic Devices

Nonlinear optics is a key enabling technology for applications including imaging and high-speed data communication. Traditional devices suffer from relatively small nonlinear optical coefficients of conventional optical materials. An interdisciplinary team led by Finland's Aalto University scientists discovered that monolayer molybdenum disulfide, a unique two-dimensional layered material similar to graphene, has an extremely large nonlinear optical response, which can efficiently convert low-energy photons into coherent high-energy photons. "This unusual property can be used for highly miniaturized on-chip photonic devices, such as high-resolution imaging and efficient optical data switching applications," says Professor Zhipei Sun from Aalto University.