By layering different two-dimensional materials, physicists at the University of Basel have created a novel structure with the ability to absorb almost all light of a selected wavelength. The achievement relies on a double layer of molybdenum disulfide. The new structure's particular properties make it a candidate for applications in optical components or as a source of individual photons, which play a key role in quantum research. The results were published in the scientific journal Nature Nanotechnology.

Novel two-dimensional materials are currently a hot research topic around the world. Of special interest are van der Waals heterostructures, which are made up of individual layers of different materials held together by van der Waals forces. The interactions between the different layers can give the resulting material entirely new properties.

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