Moiré potential impedes interlayer exciton diffusion in van der Waals heterostructures

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Science Advances  23 Sep 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 39, eaba8866
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aba8866


The properties of van der Waals heterostructures are drastically altered by a tunable moiré superlattice arising from periodically varying atomic alignment between the layers. Exciton diffusion represents an important channel of energy transport in transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). While early studies performed on TMD heterobilayers suggested that carriers and excitons exhibit long diffusion, a rich variety of scenarios can exist. In a moiré crystal with a large supercell and deep potential, interlayer excitons may be completely localized. As the moiré period reduces at a larger twist angle, excitons can tunnel between supercells and diffuse over a longer lifetime. The diffusion should be the longest in commensurate heterostructures where the moiré superlattice is completely absent. Here, we experimentally demonstrate the rich phenomena of interlayer exciton diffusion in WSe2/MoSe2 heterostructures by comparing several samples prepared with chemical vapor deposition and mechanical stacking with accurately controlled twist angles.

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