Terahertz response of monolayer and few-layer WTe2 at the nanoscale

Ran Jing, Yinming Shao, Zaiyao Fei, Chiu Fan Bowen Lo, Rocco A. Vitalone, Francesco L. Ruta, John Staunton, William J.C. Zheng, Alexander S. Mcleod, Zhiyuan Sun, Bor yuan Jiang, Xinzhong Chen, Michael M. Fogler, Andrew J. Millis, Mengkun Liu, David H. Cobden, Xiaodong Xu, D. N. Basov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


Tungsten ditelluride (WTe2) is an atomically layered transition metal dichalcogenide whose physical properties change systematically from monolayer to bilayer and few-layer versions. In this report, we use apertureless scattering-type near-field optical microscopy operating at Terahertz (THz) frequencies and cryogenic temperatures to study the distinct THz range electromagnetic responses of mono-, bi- and trilayer WTe2 in the same multi-terraced micro-crystal. THz nano-images of monolayer terraces uncovered weakly insulating behavior that is consistent with transport measurements. The near-field signal on bilayer regions shows moderate metallicity with negligible temperature dependence. Subdiffractional THz imaging data together with theoretical calculations involving thermally activated carriers favor the semimetal scenario with Δ≈−10meV over the semiconductor scenario for bilayer WTe2. Also, we observed clear metallic behavior of the near-field signal on trilayer regions. Our data are consistent with the existence of surface plasmon polaritons in the THz range confined to trilayer terraces in our specimens. Finally, data for microcrystals up to 12 layers thick reveal how the response of a few-layer WTe2 asymptotically approaches the bulk limit.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number5594
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Research on “Terahertz response of monolayer and few-layer WTe2 at the nanoscale” is supported as part of Programmable Quantum Materials, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences (BES), under award DE-SC0019443. The Flatiron Institute is a division of the Simons Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, The Author(s).


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