Research ArticlePHYSICS

Moiré excitons: From programmable quantum emitter arrays to spin-orbit–coupled artificial lattices

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Science Advances  10 Nov 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 11, e1701696
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1701696

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Highly uniform and ordered nanodot arrays are crucial for high-performance quantum optoelectronics, including new semiconductor lasers and single-photon emitters, and for synthesizing artificial lattices of interacting quasiparticles toward quantum information processing and simulation of many-body physics. Van der Waals heterostructures of two-dimensional semiconductors are naturally endowed with an ordered nanoscale landscape, that is, the moiré pattern that laterally modulates electronic and topographic structures. We find that these moiré effects realize superstructures of nanodot confinements for long-lived interlayer excitons, which can be either electrically or strain tuned from perfect arrays of quantum emitters to excitonic superlattices with giant spin-orbit coupling (SOC). Besides the wide-range tuning of emission wavelength, the electric field can also invert the spin optical selection rule of the emitter arrays. This unprecedented control arises from the gauge structure imprinted on exciton wave functions by the moiré, which underlies the SOC when hopping couples nanodots into superlattices. We show that the moiré hosts complex hopping honeycomb superlattices, where exciton bands feature a Dirac node and two Weyl nodes, connected by spin-momentum–locked topological edge modes.

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