Defect engineering in few-layer black phosphorus for tunable and photostable infrared emission

Ali Khatibi (Corresponding author), Maurangelo Petruzzella, Babak Shokri, Alberto G. Curto (Corresponding author)

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


The control of defect states is becoming a powerful approach to tune two-dimensional materials. Black phosphorus (BP) is a layered material that offers opportunities in infrared optoelectronics. Its band gap depends strongly on the number of layers and covers wavelengths from 720 to 4000 nm from monolayer to bulk, but only in discrete steps and suffering from poor photostability. Here, we demonstrate tunable and stable infrared emission from defect states in few-layer BP. First, we demonstrate a continuous blue shift of the main photoluminescence peak under laser exposure in air due to the creation of crystal defects during photo-oxidation. The tunable emission spectrum continuously bridges the discrete near-infrared energies of few-layer BP for a decreasing number of layers. Second, using plasma-enhanced encapsulation, we report the creation and protection of defects with peak emission energy between bilayer and trilayer BP. The emission is photostable and has an efficiency comparable to that of pristine layers while retaining the strong polarization anisotropy characteristic of BP. Our results put forward defect engineering in few-layer BP as a flexible strategy for stable and widely tunable infrared sources and detectors in integrated spectrometers and hyperspectral sensors.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1725
Pages (from-to)1488-1496
Number of pages9
JournalOptical Materials Express
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


  • black phosphorus
  • infrared luminescence
  • defect engineering
  • encapsulation


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