Observing quantum trapping on MoS2through the lifetimes of resonant electrons: Revealing the Pauli exclusion principle

Wei Bin Su*, Shin Ming Lu, Horng Tay Jeng, Wen Yuan Chan, Ho Hsiang Chang, Woei Wu Pai, Hsiang Lin Liu, Chia Seng Chang

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We demonstrate that the linewidth of the field emission resonance (FER) observed on the surface of MoS2 using scanning tunneling microscopy can vary by up to one order of magnitude with an increasing electric field. This phenomenon originates from quantum trapping, in which the electron relaxed from a resonant electron in the FER is momentarily trapped in a potential well on the MoS2 surface due to its wave nature. Because the relaxed electron and the resonant electron have the same spin, through the action of the Pauli exclusion principle, the lifetimes of the resonant electrons can be substantially prolonged when the relaxed electrons engage in resonance trapping. The linewidth of the FER is thus considerably reduced to as narrow as 12 meV. The coexistence of the resonant electron and the relaxed electron requires the emission of two electrons, which can occur through the exchange interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5848-5856
Number of pages9
JournalNanoscale Advances
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Dec

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)
  • Bioengineering
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Chemistry(all)


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