Physicists have let light through the plane of the world's thinnest semiconductor crystal

phys.org | 3/21/2019 | Staff
bab_ohhbab_ohh (Posted by) Level 3
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In every modern microcircuit hidden inside a laptop or smartphone, you can see transistors—small semiconductor devices that control the flow of electric current, i.e. the flow of electrons. If we replace electrons with photons (elementary particles of light), then scientists will have the prospect of creating new computing systems that can process massive information flows at a speed close to the speed of light. At present, it is photons that are considered the best for transmitting information in quantum computers. These are still hypothetical computers that live according to the laws of the quantum world and are able to solve some problems more efficiently than the most powerful supercomputers.

Although there are no fundamental limits for creating quantum computers, scientists still have not chosen what material platform will be the most convenient and effective for implementing the idea of a quantum computer. Superconducting circuits, cold atoms, ions, defects in diamond and other systems now compete for being one chosen for the future quantum computer. It has become possible to put forward the semiconductor platform and two-dimensional crystals, specifically, thanks to scientists from: the University of Würzburg (Germany); the University of Southampton (United Kingdom); the University of Grenoble Alpes (France); the University of Arizona (USA); the Westlake university (China), the Ioffe Physical Technical Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences; and St Petersburg University.

Physicists - Propagation - Light - Layer - Molybdenum

The physicists studied the propagation of light in a two-dimensional crystal layer of molybdenum diselenide (MoSe2) which is only one atom thick—this is the thinnest semiconductor crystal in the world. The researchers found that the polarisation of light propagating in a superfine crystalline layer depends on the direction of light propagation. This phenomenon is due to the effects of spin-orbit interaction in the crystal. Interestingly, as the scientists noted, the graph that shows the spatial distribution of the polarisation...
(Excerpt) Read more at: phys.org
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