All Publications

  • Moiré-Assisted Strain Transfer in Vertical van der Waals Heterostructures. Nano letters Hu, J., Yu, L., Chen, X., Lee, W., Mate, C. M., Heinz, T. F. 2023


    Strain provides a powerful method to study 2D monolayers and to tune their properties. The same approach also has great potential for van-der-Waals (vdW) heterostructures. However, we need to understand how strain can be applied to vertically stacked vdW structures, for which strain transfer from one layer to the next remains little explored. In our experiment, we fabricated vertical heterostructures consisting of transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) monolayers that were deposited on a flexible substrate. These TMDC heterostructures allowed us to read out separately the strain in each monolayer by photoluminescence measurements. We find that, in TMDC heterostructures with large twist angles (>5°), strain transfer is limited. However, for aligned heterostructures with small twist angles (≤5°), near unity strain transfer efficiency is observed. We correlate this finding with the moiré domains formed in the aligned heterostructures by reconstruction.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.3c03388

    View details for PubMedID 37903015

  • Observation of quadrupolar and dipolar excitons in a semiconductor heterotrilayer. Nature materials Yu, L., Pistunova, K., Hu, J., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Heinz, T. F. 2023


    Van der Waals (vdW) materials have opened up many avenues for discovery through layer assembly, as epitomized by interlayer dipolar excitons that exhibit electrically tunable luminescence, lasing and exciton condensation. Extending interlayer excitons to more vdW layers, however, raises fundamental questions concerning coherence within excitons and coupling between moiré superlattices at multiple interfaces. Here, by assembling angle-aligned WSe2/WS2/WSe2 heterotrilayers, we demonstrate the emergence of quadrupolar excitons. We confirm the exciton's quadrupolar nature by the decrease in its energy of 12 meV from coherent hole tunnelling between the two outer layers, its tunable static dipole moment under an external electric field and the reduced exciton-exciton interactions. At high exciton density, we also see signatures of a phase of oppositely aligned dipolar excitons, consistent with a staggered dipolar phase predicted to be driven by attractive dipolar interactions. Our demonstration paves the way for discovering emergent exciton orderings for three vdW layers and beyond.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41563-023-01678-y

    View details for PubMedID 37857888

  • The Reststrahlen Effect in the Optically Thin Limit: A Framework for Resonant Response in Thin Media. Nano letters Ma, E. Y., Hu, J., Waldecker, L., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Liu, F., Heinz, T. F. 2022


    Sharp resonances can strongly modify the electromagnetic response of matter. A classic example is the Reststrahlen effect - high reflectivity in the mid-infrared in many polar crystals near their optical phonon resonances. Although this effect in bulk materials has been studied extensively, a systematic treatment for finite thickness remains challenging. Here we describe, experimentally and theoretically, the Reststrahlen response in hexagonal boron nitride across more than 5 orders of magnitude in thickness, down to a monolayer. We find that the high reflectivity plateau of the Reststrahlen band evolves into a single peak as the material enters the optically thin limit, within which two distinct regimes emerge: a strong-response regime dominated by coherent radiative decay and a weak-response regime dominated by damping. We show that this evolution can be explained by a simple two-dimensional sheet model that can be applied to a wide range of thin media.

    View details for DOI 10.1021/acs.nanolett.2c02819

    View details for PubMedID 36112673

  • Structure of the moire exciton captured by imaging its electron and hole. Nature Karni, O., Barre, E., Pareek, V., Georgaras, J. D., Man, M. K., Sahoo, C., Bacon, D. R., Zhu, X., Ribeiro, H. B., O'Beirne, A. L., Hu, J., Al-Mahboob, A., Abdelrasoul, M. M., Chan, N. S., Karmakar, A., Winchester, A. J., Kim, B., Watanabe, K., Taniguchi, T., Barmak, K., Madeo, J., da Jornada, F. H., Heinz, T. F., Dani, K. M. 2022; 603 (7900): 247-252


    Interlayer excitons (ILXs) - electron-hole pairs bound across two atomically thin layered semiconductors - have emerged as attractive platforms to study exciton condensation1-4, single-photon emission and other quantum information applications5-7. Yet, despite extensive optical spectroscopic investigations8-12, critical information about their size, valley configuration and the influence of the moire potential remains unknown. Here, in a WSe2/MoS2 heterostructure, we captured images of the time-resolved and momentum-resolved distribution of both of the particles that bind to form the ILX: the electron and the hole. We thereby obtain a direct measurement of both the ILX diameter of around 5.2nm, comparable with the moire-unit-cell length of 6.1nm, and the localization of its centre of mass. Surprisingly, this large ILX is found pinned to a region of only 1.8nm diameter within the moire cell, smaller than the size of the exciton itself. This high degree of localization of the ILX is backed by Bethe-Salpeter equation calculations and demonstrates that the ILX can be localized within small moire unit cells. Unlike large moire cells, these are uniform over large regions, allowing the formation of extended arrays of localized excitations for quantum technology.

    View details for DOI 10.1038/s41586-021-04360-y

    View details for PubMedID 35264760