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Single Exciton Transistor based on van der Waals Heterostructures


The spin degree of freedom of an electron captures the essence of quantum mechanics. Via a phenomenon called Coulomb blockade, electrons can be loaded one-by-one into a microscopic device, and their spin can be probed by electrical or optical readouts, satisfying some criteria to construct a quantum processor.

Unfortunately, electrons interact indirectly with light (photons), essential for ultra-fast coherent control and to communicate the quantum information over long distances. Conversely, an exciton – a quasiparticle consisting of a strongly bound electron-hole pair in a semiconductor – interacts with light very strongly. With the emergence of atomically thin semiconductors which have exciton binding energies and Coulomb interactions ~ 100x larger than traditional semiconductors such as GaAs, it is possible to engineer a single exciton transistor. In this fellowship, I propose to pursue excitonic transport and controlled electrostatic trapping of single excitons. To realize such devices, I will stack atom-thick flakes together to form 2D heterostructures which allow separation of the electron and hole into different layers, creating an interlayer exciton which has a long lifetime, a large permanent dipole, and convenient energy scales. The interlayer excitons can strongly interact with each other, providing the repulsion energy to realize excitonic Coulomb blockade. Success in this endeavor opens a path to realizing novel sources of single photons, entangled photons, and efficient spin-photon interfaces.

This Fellowship will offer me the opportunity to acquire new skills regarding magneto-optical spectroscopy, quantum optics, transport device design and fabrication. It builds on my PhD project, where I focused on intralayer excitons in 2D materials and heterostructure fabrication. This project exploits my strong background in material/device preparation and marries it with quantum optics, which is the expertise of host group.

Field of science

  • /social sciences/social and economic geography/transport
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/electromagnetism and electronics/electrical conductivity/semiconductor
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/optics
  • /engineering and technology/nanotechnology/nano-materials/two-dimensional nanostructures
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/theoretical physics/particle physics/photons
  • /natural sciences/physical sciences/quantum physics/quantum optics

Call for proposal

See other projects for this call

Funding Scheme

MSCA-IF-EF-ST - Standard EF


EH14 4AS Edinburgh
United Kingdom
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 212 933,76