Abstract

Few-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) is emerging as a promising quasi-two-dimensional material for photonics and optoelectronics, further extending the library of suitable layered nanomaterials with exceptional optical properties for use in saturable absorber devices that enable short-pulse generation in laser systems. In this work, we catalog and review the nonlinear optical properties of few-layer MoS2, summarize recent progress in processing and integration into saturable absorber devices, and comment on the current status and future perspectives of MoS2-based pulsed lasers.

© 2015 Chinese Laser Press

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2015 (8)

Y. Zhan, L. Wang, J. Y. Wang, H. W. Li, and Z. H. Yu, “Yb : YAG thin disk laser passively Q-switched by a hydro-thermal grown molybdenum disulfide saturable absorber,” Laser Phys. 25, 025901 (2015).
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H. Li, H. Xia, C. Lan, C. Li, X. Zhang, J. Li, and Y. Liu, “Passively Q-switched erbium-doped fiber laser based on few-layer MoS2 saturable absorber,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 27, 69–72 (2015).
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K.-G. Zhou, M. Zhao, M.-J. Chang, Q. Wang, X.-Z. Wu, Y. Song, and H.-L. Zhang, “Size-dependent nonlinear optical properties of atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenide nanosheets,” Small 11, 634 (2015).
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R. Khazaeinezhad, S. H. Kassani, T. Nazari, H. Jeong, J. Kim, K. Choi, J.-U. Lee, J. H. Kim, H. Cheong, D.-I. Yeom, and K. Oh, “Saturable optical absorption in MoS2 nano-sheet optically deposited on the optical fiber facet,” Opt. Commun. 335, 224–230 (2015).
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D. Mao, Y. Wang, C. Ma, L. Han, B. Jiang, X. Gan, S. Hua, W. Zhang, T. Mei, and J. Zhao, “WS2 mode-locked ultrafast fiber laser,” Sci. Rep. 5, 7965 (2015).
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S. H. Kassani, R. Khazaeizhad, H. Jeong, D.-I. Yeom, and K. Oh, “All-fiber Er-doped Q-switched laser based on tungsten disulfide saturable absorber,” Opt. Mater. Express 5, 373–379 (2015).
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R. I. Woodward, E. J. R. Kelleher, T. H. Runcorn, S. Loranger, D. Popa, V. J. Wittwer, A. C. Ferrari, S. V. Popov, R. Kashyap, and J. R. Taylor, “Fiber grating compression of giant-chirped nanosecond pulses from an ultra-long nanotube mode-locked fiber laser,” Opt. Lett. 40, 387–390 (2015).
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P. Yan, A. Liu, Y. Chen, H. Chen, S. Ruan, S. Chen, I. L. Li, H. Yang, J. Hu, and G. Cao, “Microfiber-based WS2-film saturable absorber for ultra-fast photonics,” Opt. Mater. Express 5, 479–489 (2015).
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2014 (23)

Z. Luo, Y. Huang, M. Zhong, Y. Li, J. Wu, B. Xu, H. Xu, Z. Cai, J. Peng, and J. Weng, “1-, 1.5-, and 2-um fiber lasers Q-switched by a broadband few-layer MoS2 saturable absorber,” J. Lightwave Technol. 32, 4679–4686 (2014).
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F. Withers, H. Yang, L. Britnell, A. P. Rooney, E. Lewis, A. Felten, C. R. Woods, V. S. Romaguera, T. Georgiou, A. Eckmann, Y. J. Kim, S. G. Yeates, S. J. Haigh, A. K. Geim, K. S. Novoselov, and C. Casiraghi, “Heterostructures produced from nanosheet-based inks,” Nano Lett. 14, 3987–3992 (2014).

F. Bonaccorso and Z. Sun, “Solution processing of graphene, topological insulators and other 2D crystals for ultrafast photonics,” Opt. Mater. Express 4, 63–78 (2014).
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H. Zhang, S. B. Lu, J. Zheng, J. Du, S. C. Wen, D. Y. Tang, and K. P. Loh, “Molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) as a broadband saturable absorber for ultra-fast photonics,” Opt. Express 22, 7249–7260 (2014).
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H. Xia, H. Li, C. Lan, C. Li, X. Zhang, S. Zhang, and Y. Liu, “Ultrafast erbium-doped fiber laser mode-locked by a CVD-grown molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) saturable absorber,” Opt. Express 22, 17341–17348 (2014).
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H. Liu, A.-P. Luo, F.-Z. Wang, R. Tang, M. Liu, Z.-C. Luo, W.-C. Xu, C.-J. Zhao, and H. Zhang, “Femtosecond pulse erbium-doped fiber laser by a few-layer MoS2 saturable absorber,” Opt. Lett. 39, 4591–4594 (2014).
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M. Liu, X.-W. Zheng, Y.-L. Qi, H. Liu, A.-P. Luo, Z.-C. Luo, W.-C. Xu, C.-J. Zhao, and H. Zhang, “Microfiber-based few-layer MoS2 saturable absorber for 25  GHz passively harmonic mode-locked fiber laser,” Opt. Express 22, 22841–22846 (2014).
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R. Khazaeizhad, S. H. Kassani, H. Jeong, D.-I. Yeom, and K. Oh, “Mode-locking of Er-doped fiber laser using a multilayer MoS2 thin film as a saturable absorber in both anomalous and normal dispersion regimes,” Opt. Express 22, 23732–23742 (2014).
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Y. Huang, Z. Luo, Y. Li, M. Zhong, B. Xu, K. Che, H. Xu, Z. Cai, J. Peng, and J. Weng, “Widely-tunable, passively Q-switched erbium-doped fiber laser with few-layer MoS2 saturable absorber,” Opt. Express 22, 25258–25266 (2014).
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B. Xu, Y. Cheng, Y. Wang, Y. Huang, J. Peng, Z. Luo, H. Xu, Z. Cai, J. Weng, and R. Moncorgé, “Passively Q-switched Nd:YAlO3 nanosecond laser using MoS2 as saturable absorber,” Opt. Express 22, 28934–28940 (2014).
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R. I. Woodward, E. J. R. Kelleher, R. C. T. Howe, G. Hu, F. Torrisi, T. Hasan, S. V. Popov, and J. R. Taylor, “Tunable Q-switched fiber laser based on saturable edge-state absorption in few-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2),” Opt. Express 22, 31113–31122 (2014).
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W. Zhang, C.-P. Chuu, J.-K. Huang, C.-H. Chen, M.-L. Tsai, Y.-H. Chang, C.-T. Liang, Y.-Z. Chen, Y.-L. Chueh, J.-H. He, M.-Y. Chou, and L.-J. Li, “Ultrahigh-gain photodetectors based on atomically thin graphene-MoS2 heterostructures,” Sci. Rep. 4, 3826 (2014).

N. Huo, J. Kang, Z. Wei, S.-S. Li, J. Li, and S.-H. Wei, “Novel and enhanced optoelectronic performances of multilayer MoS2WS2 heterostructure transistors,” Adv. Funct. Mater. 24, 7025–7031 (2014).
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H. Wang, F. Liu, W. Fu, Z. Fang, W. Zhou, and Z. Liu, “Two-dimensional heterostructures: fabrication, characterization, and application,” Nanoscale 6, 12250–12272 (2014).
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J. Du, Q. Wang, G. Jiang, C. Xu, C. Zhao, Y. Xiang, Y. Chen, S. Wen, and H. Zhang, “Ytterbium-doped fiber laser passively mode locked by few-layer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) saturable absorber functioned with evanescent field interaction,” Sci. Rep. 4, 6346 (2014).
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J. Zheng, H. Zhang, S. Dong, Y. Liu, C. T. Nai, H. S. Shin, H. Y. Jeong, B. Liu, and K. P. Loh, “High yield exfoliation of two-dimensional chalcogenides using sodium naphthalenide,” Nat. Commun. 5, 2995 (2014).

R. Wang, H.-C. Chien, J. Kumar, N. Kumar, H.-Y. Chiu, and H. Zhao, “Third-harmonic generation in ultrathin films of MoS2,” ACS Appl. Mater. Interfaces 6, 314–318 (2014).

K. Wang, Y. Feng, C. Chang, J. Zhan, C. Wang, Q. Zhao, J. N. Coleman, L. Zhang, W. Blau, and J. Wang, “Broadband ultrafast nonlinear absorption and nonlinear refraction of layered molybdenum dichalcogenide semiconductors,” Nanoscale 6, 10530–10535 (2014).
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Q. Ouyang, H. Yu, K. Zhang, and Y. Chen, “Saturable absorption and the changeover from saturable absorption to reverse saturable absorption of MoS2 nanoflake array films,” J. Mater. Chem. C 2, 6319–6325 (2014).

X. Yin, Z. Ye, D. A. Chenet, Y. Ye, K. O’Brien, J. C. Hone, and X. Zhang, “Edge nonlinear optics on a MoS2 atomic monolayer,” Science Mag. 344(6183), 488–490 (2014).

M.-L. Tsai, S.-H. Su, J.-K. Chang, D.-S. Tsai, C.-H. Chen, C.-I. Wu, L.-J. Li, L.-J. Chen, and J.-H. He, “Monolayer MoS2 heterojunction solar cells,” ACS Nano 8, 8317–8322 (2014).
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S. Wang, H. Yu, H. Zhang, A. Wang, M. Zhao, Y. Chen, L. Mei, and J. Wang, “Broadband few-layer MoS2 saturable absorbers,” Adv. Mater. 26, 3538–3544 (2014).
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R. Ganatra and Q. Zhang, “Few-layer MoS2: a promising layered semiconductor,” ACS Nano 8, 4074–4099 (2014).
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2013 (19)

Y.-H. Lee, L. Yu, H. Wang, W. Fang, X. Ling, Y. Shi, C.-T. Lin, J.-K. Huang, M.-T. Chang, C.-S. Chang, M. Dresselhaus, T. Palacios, L.-J. Li, and J. Kong, “Synthesis and transfer of single-layer transition metal disulfides on diverse surfaces,” Nano Lett. 13, 1852–1857 (2013).

S. Najmaei, Z. Liu, W. Zhou, X. Zou, G. Shi, S. Lei, B. I. Yakobson, J.-C. Idrobo, P. M. Ajayan, and J. Lou, “Vapour phase growth and grain boundary structure of molybdenum disulphide atomic layers,” Nat. Mater. 12, 754–759 (2013).
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K. Wang, J. Wang, J. Fan, M. Lotya, A. O’Neill, D. Fox, Y. Feng, X. Zhang, B. Jiang, Q. Zhao, H. Zhang, J. N. Coleman, L. Zhang, and W. J. Blau, “Ultrafast saturable absorption of two-dimensional MoS2 nanosheets,” ACS Nano 7, 9260–9267 (2013).
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L. M. Malard, T. V. Alencar, A. P. M. Barboza, K. F. Mak, and A. M. de Paula, “Observation of intense second harmonic generation from MoS2 atomic crystals,” Phys. Rev. B 87, 201401(R) (2013).

D.-S. Tsai, K.-K. Liu, D.-H. Lien, M.-L. Tsai, C.-F. Kang, C.-A. Lin, L.-J. Li, and J.-H. He, “Few-layer MoS2 with high broadband photogain and fast optical switching for use in harsh environments,” ACS Nano 7, 3905–3911 (2013).
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M. Bernardi, M. Palummo, and J. C. Grossman, “Extraordinary sunlight absorption and one nanometer thick photovoltaics using two-dimensional monolayer materials,” Nano Lett. 13, 3664–3670 (2013).

H. J. Conley, B. Wang, J. I. Ziegler, R. F. Haglund, S. T. Pantelides, and K. I. Bolotin, “Bandgap engineering of strained monolayer and bilayer MoS2,” Nano Lett. 13, 3626 (2013).

K. Roy, M. Padmanabhan, S. Goswami, T. P. Sai, G. Ramalingam, S. Raghavan, and A. Ghosh, “Graphene-MoS2 hybrid structures for multifunctional photoresponsive memory devices,” Nat. Nanotechnol. 8, 826–830 (2013).
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M. E. Fermann and I. Hartl, “Ultrafast fibre lasers,” Nat. Photonics 7, 868–874 (2013).
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A. K. M. Newaz, D. Prasai, J. I. Ziegler, D. Caudel, S. Robinson, R. F. Haglund, and K. I. Bolotin, “Electrical control of optical properties of monolayer MoS2,” Solid State Commun. 155, 49–52 (2013).

Y. Li, Y. Rao, K. F. Mak, Y. You, S. Wang, C. R. Dean, and T. F. Heinz, “Probing symmetry properties of few-layer MoS2 and h-BN by optical second-harmonic generation,” Nano Lett. 13, 3329–3333 (2013).

R. Sundaram, M. Engel, A. Lombardo, R. Krupke, A. C. Ferrari, P. Avouris, and M. Steiner, “Electroluminescence in single layer MoS2,” Nano Lett. 13, 1416–1421 (2013).

N. Kumar, S. Najmaei, Q. Cui, F. Ceballos, P. Ajayan, J. Lou, and H. Zhao, “Second harmonic microscopy of monolayer MoS2,” Phys. Rev. B 87, 161403 (2013).

G. Eda and S. A. Maier, “Two-dimensional crystals: managing light for optoelectronics,” ACS Nano 7, 5660–5665 (2013).
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Y. Zhao, X. Luo, H. Li, J. Zhang, P. T. Araujo, C. K. Gan, J. Wu, H. Zhang, S. Y. Quek, M. S. Dresselhaus, and Q. Xiong, “Interlayer breathing and shear modes in few-trilayer MoS2 and WSe2,” Nano Lett. 13, 1007–1015 (2013).

B. Chakraborty, H. S. S. R. Matte, A. K. Sood, and C. N. R. Rao, “Layer-dependent resonant Raman scattering of a few layer MoS2,” J. Raman Spectrosc. 44, 92–96 (2013).
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W. Zhang, J.-K. Huang, C.-H. Chen, Y.-H. Chang, Y.-J. Cheng, and L.-J. Li, “High-gain phototransistors based on a CVD MoS2 monolayer,” Adv. Mater. 25, 3456–3461 (2013).
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X. Zhang, W. Han, J. Wu, S. Milana, Y. Lu, Q. Li, A. Ferrari, and P. Tan, “Raman spectroscopy of shear and layer breathing modes in multilayer MoS2,” Phys. Rev. B 87, 115413 (2013).

V. Nicolosi, M. Chhowalla, M. G. Kanatzidis, M. S. Strano, and J. N. Coleman, “Liquid exfoliation of layered materials,” Science 340, 1226419 (2013).
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2012 (13)

F. Torrisi, T. Hasan, W. Wu, Z. Sun, A. Lombardo, T. S. Kulmala, G.-W. Hsieh, S. Jung, F. Bonaccorso, P. J. Paul, D. Chu, and A. C. Ferrari, “Inkjet-printed graphene electronics,” ACS Nano 6, 2992–3006 (2012).
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Z. Sun, T. Hasan, and A. C. Ferrari, “Ultrafast lasers mode-locked by nanotubes and graphene,” Physica E 44, 1082–1091 (2012).
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H. Li, Q. Zhang, C. C. R. Yap, B. K. Tay, T. H. T. Edwin, A. Olivier, and D. Baillargeat, “From bulk to monolayer MoS2: evolution of Raman scattering,” Adv. Funct. Mater. 22, 1385–1390 (2012).
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R. Wang, B. A. Ruzicka, N. Kumar, M. Z. Bellus, H.-Y. Chiu, and H. Zhao, “Ultrafast and spatially resolved studies of charge carriers in atomically thin molybdenum disulfide,” Phys. Rev. B 86, 045406 (2012).

Z. Yin, H. Li, L. Jiang, Y. Shi, Y. Sun, G. Lu, Q. Zhang, X. Chen, and H. Zhang, “Single-layer MoS2 phototransistors,” ACS Nano 6, 74–80 (2012).
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K. F. Mak, K. He, J. Shan, and T. F. Heinz, “Control of valley polarization in monolayer MoS2 by optical helicity,” Nat. Nanotechnol. 7, 494–498 (2012).
[Crossref]

H. Zeng, J. Dai, W. Yao, D. Xiao, and X. Cui, “Valley polarization in MoS2 monolayers by optical pumping,” Nat. Nanotechnol. 7, 490–493 (2012).
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T. Cao, G. Wang, W. Han, H. Ye, C. Zhu, J. Shi, Q. Niu, P. Tan, E. Wang, B. Liu, and J. Feng, “Valley-selective circular dichroism of monolayer molybdenum disulphide,” Nat. Commun. 3, 887 (2012).
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F. Bonaccorso, A. Lombardo, T. Hasan, Z. Sun, L. Colombo, and A. C. Ferrari, “Production and processing of graphene and 2D crystals,” Mater. Today 15, 564–589 (2012).
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Y. Zhan, Z. Liu, S. Najmaei, P. M. Ajayan, and J. Lou, “Large-area vapor-phase growth and characterization of MoS2 atomic layers on a SiO2 substrate,” Small 8, 966–971 (2012).
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Y.-H. Lee, X.-Q. Zhang, W. Zhang, M.-T. Chang, C.-T. Lin, K.-D. Chang, Y.-C. Yu, J. T.-W. Wang, C.-S. Chang, L.-J. Li, and T.-W. Lin, “Synthesis of large-area MoS2 atomic layers with chemical vapor deposition,” Adv. Mater. 24, 2320–2325 (2012).
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K.-K. Liu, W. Zhang, Y.-H. Lee, Y.-C. Lin, M.-T. Chang, C.-Y. Su, C.-S. Chang, H. Li, Y. Shi, H. Zhang, C.-S. Lai, and L.-J. Li, “Growth of large-area and highly crystalline MoS2 thin layers on insulating substrates,” Nano Lett. 12, 1538–1544 (2012).

Q. H. Wang, K. Kalantar-Zadeh, A. Kis, J. N. Coleman, and M. S. Strano, “Electronics and optoelectronics of two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides,” Nat. Nanotechnol. 7, 699–712 (2012).
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2011 (7)

B. Radisavljevic, A. Radenovic, J. Brivio, V. Giacometti, and A. Kis, “Single-layer MoS2 transistors,” Nat. Nanotechnol. 6, 147–150 (2011).
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G. Eda, H. Yamaguchi, D. Voiry, T. Fujita, M. Chen, and M. Chhowalla, “Photoluminescence from chemically exfoliated MoS2,” Nano Lett. 11, 5111–5116 (2011).

J. N. Coleman, M. Lotya, A. O’Neill, S. D. Bergin, P. J. King, U. Khan, K. Young, A. Gaucher, S. De, R. J. Smith, I. V. Shvets, S. K. Arora, G. Stanton, H.-Y. Kim, K. Lee, G. T. Kim, G. S. Duesberg, T. Hallam, J. J. Boland, J. J. Wang, J. F. Donegan, J. C. Grunlan, G. Moriarty, A. Shmeliov, R. J. Nicholls, J. M. Perkins, E. M. Grieveson, K. Theuwissen, D. W. McComb, P. D. Nellist, and V. Nicolosi, “Two-dimensional nanosheets produced by liquid exfoliation of layered materials,” Science 331, 568–571 (2011).
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B. V. Cunning, C. L. Brown, and D. Kielpinski, “Low-loss flake-graphene saturable absorber mirror for laser mode-locking at sub-200-fs pulse duration,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 99, 261109 (2011).
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R. J. Smith, P. J. King, M. Lotya, C. Wirtz, U. Khan, S. De, A. O’Neill, G. S. Duesberg, J. C. Grunlan, G. Moriarty, J. Chen, J. Wang, A. I. Minett, V. Nicolosi, and J. N. Coleman, “Large-scale exfoliation of inorganic layered compounds in aqueous surfactant solutions,” Adv. Mater. 23, 3944–3948 (2011).
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A. Molina-Sánchez and L. Wirtz, “Phonons in single-layer and few-layer MoS2 and WS2,” Phys. Rev. B 84, 155413 (2011).

B. H. Chapman, E. J. R. Kelleher, K. M. Golant, S. V. Popov, and J. R. Taylor, “Amplification of picosecond pulses and gigahertz signals in bismuth-doped fiber amplifiers,” Opt. Lett. 36, 1446–1448 (2011).
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2010 (9)

Y. Y. Wang, F. Couny, P. S. Light, B. J. Mangan, and F. Benabid, “Compact and portable multiline UV and visible Raman lasers in hydrogen-filled HC-PCF,” Opt. Lett. 35, 1127–1129 (2010).
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D. J. Richardson, J. Nilsson, and W. A. Clarkson, “High power fiber lasers: current status and future perspectives,” J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27, B63–B92 (2010).
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C. Lee, H. Yan, L. E. Brus, T. F. Heinz, J. Hone, and S. Ryu, “Anomalous lattice vibrations of single- and few-layer MoS2,” ACS Nano 4, 2695–2700 (2010).
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T. Hasan, F. Torrisi, Z. Sun, D. Popa, V. Nicolosi, G. Privitera, F. Bonaccorso, and A. C. Ferrari, “Solution-phase exfoliation of graphite for ultrafast photonics,” Phys. Status Solidi B 247, 2953–2957 (2010).
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Figures (4)

Fig. 1.
Fig. 1.

(a) Illustration of MoS 2 monolayer. (b) Linear optical absorption of MoS 2 dispersion. (c) Raman spectra for the bulk MoS 2 , LPE MoS 2 , and a MoS 2 –polymer composite film. The vertical lines show the peak positions for bulk MoS 2 (obtained by Lorentzian fitting, as shown beneath each peak), highlighting the difference in peak position for LPE and bulk MoS 2 . (d) Distribution of flake thicknesses measured via AFM (inset, typical AFM image of MoS 2 flake deposited on Si / SiO 2 ).

Fig. 2.
Fig. 2.

Optical properties of few-layer MoS 2 –PVA composite (after [73]). (a) Linear absorption, compared to pure PVA (red highlighted regions correspond to wavelengths at which MoS 2 -based pulsed lasers have been reported); insets show SEM (left) and optical micrograph (right), confirming the absence of large ( > 1 μm ) voids or aggregates; (b) nonlinear absorption of composite film at 1565 nm (0.8 eV).

Fig. 3.
Fig. 3.

Tunable MoS 2 Q -switched fiber laser (after [72]): (a) cavity schematic, (b) output 74 kHz pulse train, (c) profile of single pulse, (d) various spectra at wavelengths within the continuous tuning range of 1030–1070 nm.

Fig. 4.
Fig. 4.

Tunable MoS 2 mode-locked fiber laser characteristics (after [73]): (a) typical autocorrelation trace, (b) various spectra at wavelengths within the continuous tuning range of 1535–1565 nm. Spectral narrowing towards shorter wavelengths is due to overlapping with the fall-off of the amplifier gain bandwidth (and resulted in longer pules [73]).

Tables (2)

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Table 1. Nonlinear Absorption Parameters for Few-Layer MoS 2 Flakes in Dispersions and Sa Devices

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Table 2. Pulsed Lasers with Few-Layer MoS 2 SAs

Equations (2)

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α ( I ) = α 0 + α NL I ,
α ( I ) = α s 1 + I I s + α ns + β I ,

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