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Inelastic electron tunnelling induces anomalous light emission

A single monolayer semiconductor integrated into a plasmonic tunnel junction exhibits electroluminescence with photon energies that exceed the excitation electron potential. This phenomenon is shown to be indirectly triggered by inelastically tunnelling electrons.

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Fig. 1: Upconversion electroluminescence in 2D semiconductors.


  1. Lambe, J. & McCarthy, S. L. Light emission from inelastic electron tunneling. Phys. Rev. Lett. 37, 923–925 (1976). This paper reports the first observation of light emission from a metal–insulator–metal tunnel junction.

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This is a summary of: Wang, Z. et al. Upconversion electroluminescence in 2D semiconductors integrated with plasmonic tunnel junctions. Nat. Nanotechnol. (2024).

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Inelastic electron tunnelling induces anomalous light emission. Nat. Nanotechnol. (2024).

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