A wide range of materials like graphene, topological insulators, and transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) share an interesting property: the low-energy excitations behave as Dirac particles. This emergent behavior of Dirac quasiparticles defines a large class of media that are usually called Dirac materials. In this work we build the foundations of a way to study the linear optical properties of these two-dimensional media. Our approach is based on a Dirac-like formulation of the standard semiconductor Bloch equations used in semiconductor physics. We provide an explicit expression of the linear absorbance, which we call the relativistic Elliott formula, and use it to quantify the variation of the continuum absorbance spectrum with the strength of the Coulomb interaction (the Sommerfeld factor). Our calculations also show how the Coulomb enhancements scales with the band gap and vanishes for zero band gap, shedding light on the behavior of graphene for low-light intensities. The results presented are in good quantitative agreement with published experimental results. Our theory can help researchers to explore the nonlinear interactions of intense, ultrashort pulses with TMDs, and the framework is flexible enough to be adapted to different experimental situations, such as cavities, multilayers, heterostructures, and microresonators.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics