The monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides are an emergent semiconductor platform exhibiting rich excitonic physics with coupled spin-valley degree of freedom and optical addressability. Here, we report a new series of low energy excitonic emission lines in the photoluminescence spectrum of ultraclean monolayer WSe2. These excitonic satellites are composed of three major peaks with energy separations matching known phonons, and appear only with electron doping. They possess homogenous spatial and spectral distribution, strong power saturation, and anomalously long population (>6 µs) and polarization lifetimes (>100 ns). Resonant excitation of the free inter- and intravalley bright trions leads to opposite optical orientation of the satellites, while excitation of the free dark trion resonance suppresses the satellitesʼ photoluminescence. Defect-controlled crystal synthesis and scanning tunneling microscopy measurements provide corroboration that these features are dark excitons bound to dilute donors, along with associated phonon replicas. Our work opens opportunities to engineer homogenous single emitters and explore collective quantum optical phenomena using intrinsic donor-bound excitons in ultraclean 2D semiconductors.
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- Nature Communications
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- National Science Foundation
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Abstract Monolayer transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) show a wealth of exciton physics. Here, we report the existence of a new excitonic species, the high-lying exciton (HX), in single-layer WSe 2 with an energy of ~3.4 eV, almost twice the band-edge A-exciton energy, with a linewidth as narrow as 5.8 meV. The HX is populated through momentum-selective optical excitation in the K -valleys and is identified in upconverted photoluminescence (UPL) in the UV spectral region. Strong electron-phonon coupling results in a cascaded phonon progression with equidistant peaks in the luminescence spectrum, resolvable to ninth order. Ab initio GW -BSE calculations with full electron-hole correlations explain HX formation and unmask the admixture of upper conduction-band states to this complex many-body excitation. These calculations suggest that the HX is comprised of electrons of negative mass. The coincidence of such high-lying excitonic species at around twice the energy of band-edge excitons rationalizes the excitonic quantum-interference phenomenon recently discovered in optical second-harmonic generation (SHG) and explains the efficient Auger-like annihilation of band-edge excitons.
In WSe2monolayers, strain has been used to control the energy of excitons, induce funneling, and realize single-photon sources. Here, we developed a technique for probing the dynamics of free excitons in nanoscale strain landscapes in such monolayers. A nanosculpted tapered optical fiber is used to simultaneously generate strain and probe the near-field optical response of WSe2monolayers at 5 K. When the monolayer is pushed by the fiber, its lowest energy states shift by as much as 390 meV (>20% of the bandgap of a WSe2monolayer). Polarization and lifetime measurements of these red-shifting peaks indicate they originate from dark excitons. We conclude free dark excitons are funneled to high-strain regions during their long lifetime and are the principal participants in drift and diffusion at cryogenic temperatures. This insight supports proposals on the origin of single-photon sources in WSe2and demonstrates a route towards exciton traps for exciton condensation.
Exciton polaron is a hypothetical many-body quasiparticle that involves an exciton dressed with a polarized electron-hole cloud in the Fermi sea. It has been evoked to explain the excitonic spectra of charged monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides, but the studies were limited to the ground state. Here we measure the reflection and photoluminescence of monolayer MoSe2and WSe2gating devices encapsulated by boron nitride. We observe gate-tunable exciton polarons associated with the 1 s–3 s exciton Rydberg states. The ground and excited exciton polarons exhibit comparable energy redshift (15~30 meV) from their respective bare excitons. The robust excited states contradict the trion picture because the trions are expected to dissociate in the excited states. When the Fermi sea expands, we observe increasingly severe suppression and steep energy shift from low to high exciton-polaron Rydberg states. Their gate-dependent energy shifts go beyond the trion description but match our exciton-polaron theory. Our experiment and theory demonstrate the exciton-polaron nature of both the ground and excited excitonic states in charged monolayer MoSe2and WSe2.
Excitons are elementary optical excitation in semiconductors. The ability to manipulate and transport these quasiparticles would enable excitonic circuits and devices for quantum photonic technologies. Recently, interlayer excitons in 2D semiconductors have emerged as a promising candidate for engineering excitonic devices due to their long lifetime, large exciton binding energy, and gate tunability. However, the charge-neutral nature of the excitons leads to weak response to the in-plane electric field and thus inhibits transport beyond the diffusion length. Here, we demonstrate the directional transport of interlayer excitons in bilayer WSe2driven by the propagating potential traps induced by surface acoustic waves (SAW). We show that at 100 K, the SAW-driven excitonic transport is activated above a threshold acoustic power and reaches 20 μm, a distance at least ten times longer than the diffusion length and only limited by the device size. Temperature-dependent measurement reveals the transition from the diffusion-limited regime at low temperature to the acoustic field-driven regime at elevated temperature. Our work shows that acoustic waves are an effective, contact-free means to control exciton dynamics and transport, promising for realizing 2D materials-based excitonic devices such as exciton transistors, switches, and transducers up to room temperature.
Due to their atomic thinness with reduced dielectric screening, two-dimensional materials can possess a stable excitonic population at room temperature. This is attractive for future excitonic devices, where excitons are used to carry energy or information. In excitonic devices, controlling transport of the charge-neutral excitons is a key element. Here we show that exciton transport in a MoSe 2 monolayer semiconductor can be effectively controlled by dielectric screening. A MoSe 2 monolayer was partially covered with a hexagonal boron nitride flake. Photoluminescence measurements showed that the exciton energy in the covered region is about 12 meV higher than that in the uncovered region. Spatiotemporally resolved differential reflection measurements performed at the junction between the two regions revealed that this energy offset is sufficient to drive excitons across the junction for about 50 ps over a distance of about 200 nm. These results illustrate the feasibility of using van der Waals dielectric engineering to control exciton transport and contribute to understanding the effects of the dielectric environment on the electronic and optical properties of two-dimensional semiconductors.