Electrical control of second-harmonic generation in a WSe2 monolayer transistor

Kyle L. Seyler, John R. Schaibley, Pu Gong, Pasqual Rivera, Aaron M. Jones, Sanfeng Wu, Jiaqiang Yan, David G. Mandrus, Wang Yao, Xiaodong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

415 Scopus citations


Nonlinear optical frequency conversion, in which optical fields interact with a nonlinear medium to produce new field frequencies1, is ubiquitous in modern photonic systems. However, the nonlinear electric susceptibilities that give rise to such phenomena are often challenging to tune in a given material and, so far, dynamical control of optical nonlinearities remains confined to research laboratories as a spectroscopic tool2. Here, we report a mechanism to electrically control second-order optical nonlinearities in monolayer WSe2, an atomically thin semiconductor. We show that the intensity of second-harmonic generation at the A-exciton resonance is tunable by over an order of magnitude at low temperature and nearly a factor of four at room temperature through electrostatic doping in a field-effect transistor. Such tunability arises from the strong exciton charging effects in monolayer semiconductors3,4, which allow for exceptional control over the oscillator strengths at the exciton and trion resonances. The exciton-enhanced second-harmonic generation is counter-circularly polarized to the excitation laser due to the combination of the two-photon and one-photon valley selection rules5-8, which have opposite helicity in the monolayer. Our study paves the way towards a new platform for chip-scale, electrically tunable nonlinear optical devices based on two-dimensional semiconductors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)407-411
Number of pages5
JournalNature Nanotechnology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 7 2015
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • General Materials Science


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