Room-temperature continuous-wave lasing from monolayer molybdenum ditelluride integrated with a silicon nanobeam cavity

Abstract

Monolayer transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) have the potential to become efficient optical-gain materials for low-energy-consumption nanolasers with the smallest gain media because of strong excitonic emission. However, until now TMD-based lasing has been realized only at low temperatures. Here we demonstrate for the first time a room-temperature laser operation in the infrared region from a monolayer of molybdenum ditelluride on a silicon photonic-crystal cavity. The observation is enabled by the unique combination of a TMD monolayer with an emission wavelength transparent to silicon, and a high-Q cavity of the silicon nanobeam. The laser is pumped by a continuous-wave excitation, with a threshold density of 6.6 W cm–2. Its linewidth is as narrow as 0.202 nm with a corresponding Q of 5,603, the largest value reported for a TMD laser. This demonstration establishes TMDs as practical materials for integrated TMD–silicon nanolasers suitable for silicon-based nanophotonic applications in silicon-transparent wavelengths.

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Figure 1: Monolayer MoTe2 and silicon photonic crystal nanobeam cavity.
Figure 2: Design and optical modes of the photonic crystal nanobeam cavity.
Figure 3: Room-temperature emission.
Figure 4: Lasing characteristics at room temperature.

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Acknowledgements

This research is supported by the 985 University Project of China and Tsinghua University Initiative Scientific Research Program (No. 20141081296). The authors thank Y. Huang for the usage of their fabrication equipment.

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Contributions

C.Z.N. initiated the research on the silicon-based monolayer MoTe2 lasers, and supervised the overall project. Y.L. developed the simulations and design of the devices. Y.L., J.Z., D.H. and J.F. exfoliated monolayer MoTe2 from the bulk material. Y.L., J.Z. and D.H. fabricated the devices. Y.L., J.Z., H.S. and F.F. performed the optical measurements and data analysis. J.Z. and Z.W. carried out the laser equation fitting. Y.L. and C.Z.N. analysed data and wrote the manuscript. All the authors participated in the discussions.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to C. Z. Ning.

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The authors declare no competing financial interests.

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Li, Y., Zhang, J., Huang, D. et al. Room-temperature continuous-wave lasing from monolayer molybdenum ditelluride integrated with a silicon nanobeam cavity. Nature Nanotech 12, 987–992 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nnano.2017.128

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