Optoelectronic crystal of artificial atoms in strain-textured molybdenum disulphide
The isolation of the two-dimensional semiconductor molybdenum disulphide introduced a new optically active material possessing a band gap that can be facilely tuned via elastic strain. As an atomically thin membrane with exceptional strength, monolayer molybdenum disulphide subjected to biaxial strain can embed wide band gap variations overlapping the visible light spectrum, with calculations showing the modified electronic potential emanating from point-induced tensile strain perturbations mimics the Coulomb potential in a mesoscopic atom. Here we realize and confirm this ‘artificial atom’ concept via capillary-pressure-induced nanoindentation of monolayer molybdenum disulphide from a tailored nanopattern, and demonstrate that a synthetic superlattice of these building blocks forms an optoelectronic crystal capable of broadband light absorption and efficient funnelling of photogenerated excitons to points of maximum strain at the artificial-atom nuclei. Such two-dimensional semiconductors with spatially textured band gaps represent a new class of materials, which may find applications in next-generation optoelectronics or photovoltaics.