WASHINGTON -- Scientists at the U.S.

Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) discovered a new method to passivate defects in next generation optical materials to improve optical quality and enable the miniaturization of light emitting diodes and other optical elements.

The NRL scientists developed a versatile laser processing technique to significantly improve the optical properties of monolayer molybdenum disulphide (MoS2) -- a direct gap semiconductor -- with high spatial resolution.

Their process produces a 100-fold increase in the material's optical emission efficiency in the areas "written" with the laser beam.

According to Sivaram, atomically thin layers of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), such as MoS2, are promising components for flexible devices, solar cells, and optoelectronic sensors due to their high optical absorption and direct band gap.

"These semiconducting materials are particularly advantageous in applications where weight and flexibility are a premium," he said.

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