Ultra-thin van der Waals crystals as semiconductor quantum wells

Johanna Zultak, Samuel Magorrian, Maciej Koperski, Alistair Garner, Matthew Hamer, Endre Tovari, Konstantin Novoselov, Alexander Zhukov, Yichao Zou, Neil R Wilson, Sarah Haigh, Andrey Kretinin, Vladimir Fal'ko, Roman Gorbachev

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Control over the quantization of electrons in quantum wells is at the heart of the functioning of modern advanced electronics: high electron mobility transistors, semiconductor and Capasso terahertz lasers, and many others. However, this avenue has not been explored in the case of 2D materials. Here we apply this concept to van der Waals heterostructures using the thickness of the exfoliated crystals to control the quantum well dimensions in few-layer semiconductor InSe. The approach realizes precise control over the energy of the subbands and their uniformity guarantees extremely high quality electronic transport in these systems. Using tunnelling and light emitting devices, we reveal the full subband structure by studying resonance features in the tunnelling current, photoabsorption and light emission spectra. In the future, these systems can enable development of elementary blocks for atomically thin infrared and THz light sources based on intersubband optical transitions in few-layer van der Waals materials.
Original languageEnglish
Article number125
JournalNature Communications
Issue number1
Early online date8 Jan 2020
Publication statusPublished - 8 Jan 2020

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  • National Graphene Institute


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    Grigorieva, I., Burnett, H., Cusworth, E., Deaconu, D., Dumitriu-Iovanescu, A., Kang, Y., Little, J., Rees, E., Selles, F., Shaker, M., Soong, Y., Swindell, J., Tainton, G., Wood, H., Astles, T., Carl, A., Chen, G., Richard De Latour, H., Dowinton, O., Haskell, S., Hills, K., Hoole, C., Huang, Y., Kalsi, T., Powell, L., Quiligotti, K., Rimmer, J., Smith, L., Thornley, W., Yang, J., Young, W., Zhao, M., Al Busaidi, R., Al Ruqeishi, E., Chadha, A., Chen, M., Dennis, G., Dunn, E., Gamblen, E., Gao, Y., Georgantas, Y., Jiang, Z., Karakasidi, A., Mcellistrim, A., Meehan, M., Okwelogu, E., Taylor, M., Wang, W., Xin, B., Castle, C., Clout, P., Dean, S. D., Fordham, A., Griffin, E., Hardwick, T., Hawkins-Pottier, G., Jones, A., Lewthwaite, K., Monteil, S., Moulsdale, C., Mullan, C., Orts Mercadillo, V., Sanderson, D., Skliueva, I., Skuse, C., Steiner, P., Winstanley, B., Barry, D., Brooks, D., Cai, J., Chen, Y., Chen, C., Draude, A., Emmerson, C., Gavriliuc, V., Greaves, M., Higgins, E., Mcmaster, R., Mcnair, R., O'Brien, C., Peasey, A., Pinter, G., Shao, S., Thomas, D., Thomas, D., Tsim, L. T. B., Wengraf, J., Weston, A., Yu, T., De Libero, H., Chan, K. C., Tan, Y. T. & Thomson, T.


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