Widely tunable mid-infrared light emission in thin-film black phosphorus

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Science Advances  14 Feb 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 7, eaay6134
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aay6134


Thin-film black phosphorus (BP) is an attractive material for mid-infrared optoelectronic applications because of its layered nature and a moderate bandgap of around 300 meV. Previous photoconduction demonstrations show that a vertical electric field can effectively reduce the bandgap of thin-film BP, expanding the device operational wavelength range in mid-infrared. Here, we report the widely tunable mid-infrared light emission from a hexagonal boron nitride (hBN)/BP/hBN heterostructure device. With a moderate displacement field up to 0.48 V/nm, the photoluminescence (PL) peak from a ~20-layer BP flake is continuously tuned from 3.7 to 7.7 μm, spanning 4 μm in mid-infrared. The PL emission remains perfectly linear-polarized along the armchair direction regardless of the bias field. Moreover, together with theoretical analysis, we show that the radiative decay probably dominates over other nonradiative decay channels in the PL experiments. Our results reveal the great potential of thin-film BP in future widely tunable, mid-infrared light-emitting and lasing applications.

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