Plasmonic, topological insulators, 2d layered materials


The generation of electron-hole pairs in materials has great importance. In direct bandgap semiconductor materials, the mechanism of radiative recombination of electron-hole pairs leads to the emission of photons, which is the basis of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). The excitation of electron-hole pairs by absorption of photons is the active process in photodiodes, solar cells, and other semiconductor photodetector devices. In optoelectronic devices such as optical switches which are based on transmission and reflection of the photons, electron-hole pairs excitation is a key for the device performance. Diodes and transistors are also great discoveries in electronics which rely on the generation and recombination of electron-hole pairs at p-n junctions. In three-dimensional topological insulators (3D TIs) materials nanostructures excitation of electron-hole pairs can be utilized for the quantum memory, quantum information and quantum teleportation. In two-dimensional (2D) layered materials like graphene, MoS2, MoSe2, WS2 and WSe2 generation and recombination of electron hole pairs is main process at p-n junctions, infrared detectors and sensors. This PhD thesis is concerned with the physics of different types of electron-hole pairs in various materials, such as wide-bandgap semiconductors, 3D topological insulators, and plasmonic excitations in metallic nanostructures. The materials of interest are wide bandgap semiconductors such as TiO2 , 3D TIs such as Pb1-xSnxTe and the 2D layered materials such as MoS2 and MoO3. We study the electronic and optical properties in bulk and nanostructures and find applications in the area of semiclassical and quantum information processing. One of the interesting applications we focus in this thesis is shift in surface plasmon resonance due to reduction in index of refraction of surrounding dielectric environment which in turns shifts the wavelength of surface plasmon resonance up to 125 nm for carrier density of 10^22/cm^3. Employing this effect, we present a model of a light controlled plasmon switching using a hybrid metal-dielectric heterostructures. In 3D TIs nanostructures, the time reversible spin partners in the valence and conduction band can be coupled by a left and a right handed circular polarization of the light. Such coupling of light with electron-hole pair polarization provides an unique opportunity to utilize 3D TIs in quantum information processing and spintronics devices. We present a model of a 3D TI quantum dot made of spherical core-bulk heterostructure. When a 3D TI QD is embedded inside a cavity, the single-photon Faraday rotation provides the possibility to implement optically mediated quantum teleportation and quantum information processing with 3D TI QDs, where the qubit is defined by either an electron-hole pair, a single electron spin, or a single hole spin in a 3D TI QD. Due to excellent transport properties in single and multiple layers of 2D layered materials, several efforts have demonstrated the possibility to engineer electronic and optoelectronic devices based on MoS2. In this thesis, we focus on theoretical and experimental study of electrical property and photoluminescence tuning, both in a single-layer of MoS2.We present theoretical analysis of experimental results from the point of view of stability of MoO3 defects in MoS2 single layer and bandstructures calculation. In experiment, the electrical property of a single layer of MoS2 can be tuned from semiconducting to insulating regime via controlled exposure to oxygen plasma. The quenching of photoluminescence of a single sheet of MoS2 has also been observed upon exposure to oxygen plasmas. We calculate the direct to indirect band gap transitions by going from MoS2 single sheet to MoO3 single sheet during the plasma exposure, which is due to the formation of MoO3 rich defect domains inside a MoS2 sheet.


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Graduation Date





Leuenberger, Michael N.


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Sciences



Degree Program









Release Date

August 2014

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

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