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Title: Low-loss composite photonic platform based on 2D semiconductor monolayers
Two dimensional (2D) materials such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) are promising for optical modulation, detection, and light emission since their material properties can be tuned on-demand via electrostatic doping1–21. The optical properties of TMDs have been shown to change drastically with doping in the wavelength range near the excitonic resonances22–26. However, little is known about the effect of doping on the optical properties of TMDs away from these resonances, where the material is transparent and therefore could be leveraged in photonic circuits. Here, we probe the electro-optic response of monolayer TMDs at near infrared (NIR) wavelengths (i.e. deep in the transparency regime), by integrating them on silicon nitride (SiN) photonic structures to induce strong light -matter interaction with the monolayer. We dope the monolayer to carrier densities of (7.2 ± 0.8) × 1013 cm-2, by electrically gating the TMD using an ionic liquid [P14+] [FAP-]. We show strong electro-refractive response in monolayer tungsten disulphide (WS2) at NIR wavelengths by measuring a large change in the real part of refractive index ∆n = 0.53, with only a minimal change in the imaginary part ∆k = 0.004. We demonstrate photonic devices based on electrostatically gated SiN-WS2 phase modulator with high efficiency ( ) of 0.8 V · cm. We show that the induced phase change relative to the change in absorption (i.e. ∆n/∆k) is approximately 125, that is significantly higher than the ones achieved in 2D materials at different spectral ranges and in bulk materials, commonly employed for silicon photonic modulators such as Si and III-V on Si, while accompanied by negligible insertion loss. Efficient phase modulators are critical for enabling large-scale photonic systems for applications such as Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR), phased arrays, optical switching, coherent optical communication and quantum and optical neural networks27–30.  more » « less
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National Science Foundation
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