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Strain engineering is a powerful tool in designing artificial platforms for high-temperature excitonic quantum devices. Combining strong light-matter interaction with robust and mobile exciton quasiparticles, two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (2D TMDCs) hold great promise in this endeavor. However, realizing complex excitonic architectures based on strain-induced electronic potentials alone has proven to be exceptionally difficult so far. Here, we demonstrate deterministic strain engineering of both single-particle electronic bandstructure and excitonic many-particle interactions. We create quasi-1D transport channels to confine excitons and simultaneously enhance their mobility through locally suppressed exciton-phonon scattering. Using ultrafast, all-optical injection and time-resolved readout, we realize highly directional exciton flow with up to 100% anisotropy both at cryogenic and room temperatures. The demonstrated fundamental modification of the exciton transport properties in a deterministically strained 2D material with effectively tunable dimensionality has broad implications for both basic solid-state science and emerging technologies.more » « less
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.more » « less