Atomically thin optical lenses and gratings

Jiong Yang, Zhu Wang, Fan Wang, Renjing Xu, Jin Tao, Shuang Zhang, Qinghua Qin, Barry Luther-Davies, Chennupati Jagadish, Zongfu Yu*, Yuerui Lu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

109 Citations (Scopus)
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Two-dimensional (2D) materials have emerged as promising candidates for miniaturized optoelectronic devices due to their strong inelastic interactions with light. On the other hand, a miniaturized optical system also requires strong elastic light-matter interactions to control the flow of light. Here we report that a single-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) has a giant optical path length (OPL), around one order of magnitude larger than that from a single-layer of graphene. Using such giant OPL to engineer the phase front of optical beams we have demonstrated, to the best of our knowledge, the world's thinnest optical lens consisting of a few layers of MoS2 less than 6.3 nm thick. By taking advantage of the giant elastic scattering efficiency in ultra-thin high-index 2D materials, we also demonstrated high-efficiency gratings based on a single- or few-layers of MoS2. The capability of manipulating the flow of light in 2D materials opens an exciting avenue towards unprecedented miniaturization of optical components and the integration of advanced optical functionalities. More importantly, the unique and large tunability of the refractive index by electric field in layered MoS2 will enable various applications in electrically tunable atomically thin optical components, such as micro-lenses with electrically tunable focal lengths, electrical tunable phase shifters with ultra-high accuracy, which cannot be realized by conventional bulk solids.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere16046
Pages (from-to)1-8
Number of pages8
JournalLight: Science and Applications
Publication statusPublished - 11 Mar 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • atomically thin
  • grating
  • micro-lens
  • MoS2
  • two-dimensional


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