Semiconductors are the basis of many vital technologies such as electronics, computing, communications, optoelectronics, and sensing. Modern semiconductor technology can trace its origins to the invention of the point contact transistor in 1947. This demonstration paved the way for the development of discrete and integrated semiconductor devices and circuits that has helped to build a modern society where semiconductors are ubiquitous components of everyday life. A key property that determines the semiconductor electrical and optical properties is the bandgap. Beyond graphene, recently discovered two-dimensional (2D) materials possess semiconducting bandgaps ranging from the terahertz and mid-infrared in bilayer graphene and black phosphorus, visible in transition metal dichalcogenides, to the ultraviolet in hexagonal boron nitride. In particular, these 2D materials were demonstrated to exhibit highly tunable bandgaps, achieved via the control of layers number, heterostructuring, strain engineering, chemical doping, alloying, intercalation, substrate engineering, as well as an external electric field. We provide a review of the basic physical principles of these various techniques on the engineering of quasi-particle and optical bandgaps, their bandgap tunability, potentials and limitations in practical realization in future 2D device technologies.
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Discussions and interactions with D.R. Reichman, F. Tavazza, N.M.R. Peres, and K. Choudhary are gratefully acknowledged. A.C. acknowledges financial support by CNPq, through the PRONEX/FUNCAP and PQ programs. This project has received funding from the European Research Council (ERC) under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program (grant agreement No. 755655, ERC-StG 2017 project 2D-TOPSENSE). Computational support from the Minnesota Supercomputing Institute (MSI) and EU Graphene Flagship funding (Grant Graphene Core 2, 785219) is acknowledged. R.F. acknowledges support from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO) through the research program Rubicon with project number 680-50-1515. D.H., J.Z., and X.W. acknowledge support by National Natural Science Foundation of China 61734003, 61521001, 61704073, 51861145202, and 61851401, and National Key Basic Research Program of China 2015CB921600 and 2018YFB2200500. J.Z. and Z.L. acknowledge support by RG7/18, MOE2017-T2-2-136, MOE2018-T3-1-002, and A*Star QTE program. S.H.S. and Y.H.L. acknowledge the support from IBS-R011-D1. Y.D.K. is supported by Samsung Research and Incubation Funding Center of Samsung Electronics under Project Number SRFC-TB1803-04. S.J.K acknowledges financial support by the National Science Foundation (NSF), under award DMR-1921629. T.L. and J.G.A. acknowledge funding support from NSF/DMREF under Grant Agreement No. 1921629. S.-H.O. acknowledges support from the U.S. National Science Foundation (NSF ECCS 1809723) and Samsung Global Research Outreach (GRO) project.