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Authors: Xuetao Gan, Dirk Englund, D. Van Thourhout, Jianlin Zhao
Title: 2D materials-enabled optical modulators: from visible to terahertz spectral range
Format: International Journal
Publication date: 4/2022
Journal/Conference/Book: Applied Physics Reviews
Editor/Publisher: AIP Publioshing, 
Volume(Issue): 9(2) p.021302
DOI: 10.1063/5.0078416
Citations: 37 ( - last update: 14/7/2024)
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Two-dimensional (2D) materials with layered structures have a variety of exceptional electronic and optical attributes for potentially developing basic functions of light wave technology from light-emitting to -modulating and -sensing. Here, we present state-of-the-art 2D materials-enabled optical intensity modulators according to their operation spectral ranges, which are mainly determined by the optical bandgaps of the 2D materials. Leveraging rich electronic structures from different 2D materials and the governed unique light–matter interactions, the working mechanisms and device architectures for the enabled modulators at specific wavelength ranges are discussed. For instance, the tunable excitonic effect in monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides allows the modulation of visible light. Electro-absorptive and electro-refractive graphene modulators could be operated in the telecom-band relying on their linear dispersion of the massless Dirac fermions. The bendable electronic band edge of the narrow bandgap in few-layer black phosphorus promises the modulation of mid-infrared light via the quantum-confined Franz–Keldysh or Burstein–Moss shift effect. Electrically and magnetically tunable optical conductivity in graphene also supports the realizations of terahertz modulators. While these modulators were demonstrated as proof of concept devices, part of them have great potential for future realistic applications, as discussed with their wavelength coverage, modulation depth, insertion loss, dynamic response speed, etc.

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