Valley-selective circular dichroism of monolayer molybdenum disulphide

Nat Commun. 2012 Jun 6;3:887. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1882.


A two-dimensional honeycomb lattice harbours a pair of inequivalent valleys in the k-space electronic structure, in the vicinities of the vertices of a hexagonal Brillouin zone, K(±). It is particularly appealing to exploit this emergent degree of freedom of charge carriers, in what is termed 'valleytronics'. The physics of valleys mimics that of spin, and will make possible devices, analogous to spintronics, such as valley filter and valve, and optoelectronic Hall devices, all very promising for next-generation electronics. The key challenge lies with achieving valley polarization, of which a convincing demonstration in a two-dimensional honeycomb structure remains evasive. Here we show, using first principles calculations, that monolayer molybdenum disulphide is an ideal material for valleytronics, for which valley polarization is achievable via valley-selective circular dichroism arising from its unique symmetry. We also provide experimental evidence by measuring the circularly polarized photoluminescence on monolayer molybdenum disulphide, which shows up to 50% polarization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Circular Dichroism / methods*
  • Disulfides / chemistry*
  • Molybdenum / chemistry*


  • Disulfides
  • Molybdenum
  • molybdenum disulfide