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Title: Strong interaction between interlayer excitons and correlated electrons in WSe2/WS2 moiré superlattice
Abstract Heterobilayers of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) can form a moiré superlattice with flat minibands, which enables strong electron interaction and leads to various fascinating correlated states. These heterobilayers also host interlayer excitons in a type-II band alignment, in which optically excited electrons and holes reside on different layers but remain bound by the Coulomb interaction. Here we explore the unique setting of interlayer excitons interacting with strongly correlated electrons, and we show that the photoluminescence (PL) of interlayer excitons sensitively signals the onset of various correlated insulating states as the band filling is varied. When the system is in one of such states, the PL of interlayer excitons is relatively amplified at increased optical excitation power due to reduced mobility, and the valley polarization of interlayer excitons is enhanced. The moiré superlattice of the TMDC heterobilayer presents an exciting platform to engineer interlayer excitons through the periodic correlated electron states.
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Award ID(s):
2004701 1825594 1904716 1933214
Publication Date:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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  1. Abstract

    Moiré coupling in transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) superlattices introduces flat minibands that enable strong electronic correlation and fascinating correlated states, and it also modifies the strong Coulomb-interaction-driven excitons and gives rise to moiré excitons. Here, we introduce the layer degree of freedom to the WSe2/WS2moiré superlattice by changing WSe2from monolayer to bilayer and trilayer. We observe systematic changes of optical spectra of the moiré excitons, which directly confirm the highly interfacial nature of moiré coupling at the WSe2/WS2interface. In addition, the energy resonances of moiré excitons are strongly modified, with their separation significantly increased in multilayer WSe2/monolayer WS2moiré superlattice. The additional WSe2layers also modulate the strong electronic correlation strength, evidenced by the reduced Mott transition temperature with added WSe2layer(s). The layer dependence of both moiré excitons and correlated electronic states can be well described by our theoretical model. Our study presents a new method to tune the strong electronic correlation and moiré exciton bands in the TMDCs moiré superlattices, ushering in an exciting platform to engineer quantum phenomena stemming from strong correlation and Coulomb interaction.

  2. Twisting or sliding two-dimensional crystals with respect to each other gives rise to moiré patterns determined by the difference in their periodicities. Such lattice mismatches can exist for several reasons: differences between the intrinsic lattice constants of the two layers, as is the case for graphene on BN; rotations between the two lattices, as is the case for twisted bilayer graphene; and strains between two identical layers in a bilayer. Moiré patterns are responsible for a number of new electronic phenomena observed in recent years in van der Waals heterostructures, including the observation of superlattice Dirac points for graphene on BN, collective electronic phases in twisted bilayers and twisted double bilayers, and trapping of excitons in the moiré potential. An open question is whether we can use moiré potentials to achieve strong trapping potentials for electrons. Here, we report a technique to achieve deep, deterministic trapping potentials via strain-based moiré engineering in van der Waals materials. We use strain engineering to create on-demand soliton networks in transition metal dichalcogenides. Intersecting solitons form a honeycomb-like network resulting from the three-fold symmetry of the adhesion potential between layers. The vertices of this network occur in bound pairs with different interlayer stacking arrangements.more »One vertex of the pair is found to be an efficient trap for electrons, displaying two states that are deeply confined within the semiconductor gap and have a spatial extent of 2 nm. Soliton networks thus provide a path to engineer deeply confined states with a strain-dependent tunable spatial separation, without the necessity of introducing chemical defects into the host materials.« less
  3. Abstract

    Interlayer excitons (IXs) in MoSe2–WSe2heterobilayers have generated interest as highly tunable light emitters in transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) heterostructures. Previous reports of spectrally narrow (<1 meV) photoluminescence (PL) emission lines at low temperature have been attributed to IXs localized by the moiré potential between the TMD layers. We show that spectrally narrow IX PL lines are present even when the moiré potential is suppressed by inserting a bilayer hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) spacer between the TMD layers. We compare the doping, electric field, magnetic field, and temperature dependence of IXs in a directly contacted MoSe2–WSe2region to those in a region separated by bilayer hBN. The doping, electric field, and temperature dependence of the narrow IX lines are similar for both regions, but their excitonic g-factors have opposite signs, indicating that the origin of narrow IX PL is not the moiré potential.

  4. Excitons in monolayer semiconductors have a large optical transition dipole for strong coupling with light. Interlayer excitons in heterobilayers feature a large electric dipole that enables strong coupling with an electric field and exciton-exciton interaction at the cost of a small optical dipole. We demonstrate the ability to create a new class of excitons in hetero- and homobilayers that combines advantages of monolayer and interlayer excitons, i.e., featuring both large optical and electric dipoles. These excitons consist of an electron confined in an individual layer, and a hole extended in both layers, where the carrier-species–dependent layer hybridization can be controlled through rotational, translational, band offset, and valley-spin degrees of freedom. We observe different species of layer-hybridized valley excitons, which can be used for realizing strongly interacting polaritonic gases and optical quantum controls of bidirectional interlayer carrier transfer.
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