Dressing electrons with a rotating field of laser light creates distinct, controllable states, opening the door for innovative electronics.
A new semiconducting material that is only three atomic-layers thick has emerged with more exotic, malleable electronic properties than those of traditional semiconductors. These properties come from electrons, like a ball rolling down a hill to a valley, that prefer the lower energy levels at the bottom of electronic energy “valleys.” Now, the valley depth can be shifted optically and with extreme speed with sculpted laser pulses.
Layered materials where electrons are constrained to two dimensions can be engineered into novel electronic structures with unique electronic and optical properties. Optical manipulation of electrons can lead to new modes of energy conversion and computational devices such as electronics based on energy valleys states instead of conventional electronics based on charge flows and accumulation.