Quantum tunnelling, a mesmerizing phenomenon where electrons cross barriers they shouldn’t be able to penetrate, has sparked a revolution in the realm of optical computers. A recent study conducted by a team of international researchers, led by Politecnico di Milano in collaboration with the University of Sheffield, unleashes the potential of quantum tunnelling in bidimensional materials for the development of sustainable optical computers, nano-scaled optical chips, and advanced sensors.
In their groundbreaking experiment, the researchers discovered that quantum tunnelling drastically alters the transparency of atomically thin semiconductors when exposed to laser light. By investigating the bidirectional transport of electrons between adjacent layers of these materials, the team shed light on the profound impact of quantum tunnelling. As electrons traverse between layers, they become delocalized, leading to competition with localized electrons in occupying the same energetic state. This competition aligns with the Pauli exclusion principle, which restricts light absorption when states are already occupied by electrons. Consequently, this competition process significantly modifies the optical properties of the materials, ultimately resulting in enhanced transparency upon laser illumination.
This remarkable observation not only expands our understanding of quantum tunnelling but also presents promising avenues for future research in photonics and materials science. The newfound knowledge holds the key to advancements in optical and quantum computing, propelling us into a world of unprecedented technological capabilities.
The research, titled “Interspecies exciton interactions lead to enhanced nonlinearity of dipolar excitons and polaritons in MoS2 homobilayers” and authored by C. Louca et al., was a collaborative effort between the Physics Department of Politecnico di Milano, the University of Sheffield, the University of Manchester, and the University of Exeter. This research endeavor was partially funded by the European Union through the Graphene Flagship project “GrapheneCore3,” led by Prof. Giulio Cerullo, as well as the Marie Curie Individual Fellowship project “Enosis,” led by Dr. Armando Genco.
Source: Politecnico di Milano (polimi.it)