Emergence of Highly Linearly Polarized Interlayer Exciton Emission in MoSe2/WSe2 Heterobilayers with Transfer-Induced Layer Corrugation

Evgeny M. Alexeev, Nic Mullin, Pablo Ares, Harriet Nevison-andrews, Oleksandr Skrypka, Tillmann Godde, Aleksey Kozikov, Lee Hague, Yibo Wang, Kostya S. Novoselov, Laura Fumagalli, Jamie K. Hobbs, Alexander I. Tartakovskii

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The availability of accessible fabrication methods based on deterministic transfer of atomically thin crystals has been essential for the rapid expansion of research into van der Waals heterostructures. An inherent issue of these techniques is the deformation of the polymer carrier film during the transfer, which can lead to highly nonuniform strain induced in the transferred two-dimensional material. Here, using a combination of optical spectroscopy, atomic force, and Kelvin probe force microscopy, we show that the presence of nanometer scale wrinkles formed due to transfer-induced stress relaxation can lead to strong changes in the optical properties of MoSe2/WSe2 heterostructures and the emergence of linearly polarized interlayer exciton photoluminescence. We attribute these changes to local breaking of crystal symmetry in the nanowrinkles, which act as efficient accumulation centers for interlayer excitons due to the strain-induced interlayer band gap reduction. Surface potential images of the rippled heterobilayer samples acquired using Kelvin probe force microscopy reveal variations of the local work function consistent with strain-induced band gap modulation, while the potential offset observed at the ridges of the wrinkles shows a clear correlation with the value of the tensile strain estimated from the wrinkle geometry. Our findings highlight the important role of the residual strain in defining optical properties of van der Waals heterostructures and suggest effective approaches for interlayer exciton manipulation by local strain engineering.
Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Nano
Early online date2 Sept 2020
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2 Sept 2020

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • National Graphene Institute


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