Highly Enhanced Many-Body Interactions in Anisotropic 2D Semiconductors.Acc Chem Res 2018; 51(5):1164-1173AC
Atomically thin two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors have presented a plethora of opportunities for future optoelectronic devices and photonics applications, made possible by the strong light matter interactions at the 2D quantum limit. Many body interactions between fundamental particles in 2D semiconductors are strongly enhanced compared with those in bulk semiconductors because of the reduced dimensionality and, thus, reduced dielectric screening. These enhanced many body interactions lead to the formation of robust quasi-particles, such as excitons, trions, and biexcitons, which are extremely important for the optoelectronics device applications of 2D semiconductors, such as light emitting diodes, lasers, and optical modulators, etc. Recently, the emerging anisotropic 2D semiconductors, such as black phosphorus (termed as phosphorene) and phosphorene-like 2D materials, such as ReSe2, 2D-perovskites, SnS, etc., show strong anisotropic optical and electrical properties, which are different from conventional isotropic 2D semiconductors, such as transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) monolayers. This anisotropy leads to the formation of quasi-one-dimensional (quasi-1D) excitons and trions in a 2D system, which results in even stronger many body interactions in anisotropic 2D materials, arising from the further reduced dimensionality of the quasi-particles and thus reduced dielectric screening. Many body interactions have been heavily investigated in TMD monolayers in past years, but not in anisotropic 2D materials yet. The quasi-particles in anisotropic 2D materials have fractional dimensionality which makes them perfect candidates to serve as a platform to study fundamental particle interactions in fractional dimensional space. In this Account, we present our recent progress related to 2D phosphorene, a 2D system with quasi-1D excitons and trions. Phosphorene, because of its unique anisotropic properties, provides a unique 2D platform for investigating the dynamics of excitons, trions, and biexcitons in reduced dimensions and fundamental many body interactions. We begin by explaining the fundamental reasons for the highly enhanced interactions in the 2D systems influenced by dielectric screening, resulting in high binding energies of excitons and trions, which are supported by theoretical calculations and experimental observations. Phosphorene has shown much higher binding energies of excitons and trions than TMD monolayers, which allows robust quasi-particles in anisotropic materials at room temperature. We also discuss the role of extrinsic defects induced in phosphorene, resulting in localized excitonic emissions in the near-infrared range, making it suitable for optical telecommunication applications. Finally, we present our vision of the exciting device applications based on the highly enhanced many body interactions in phosphorene, including exciton-polariton devices, polariton lasers, single-photon emitters, and tunable light emitting diodes (LEDs).