MAPEX Research Highlights

Biexciton fine structure in monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides

A. Steinhoff, M. Florian, A. Singh, K. Tran, M. Kolarczik, S. Helmrich, A. W. Achtstein, U. Woggon, N. Owschimikow, F. Jahnke & X. Li 

Nature Physics (2018)

The optical properties of atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDC) semiconductors are shaped by the emergence of correlated many-body complexes due to strong Coulomb interaction. Exceptional electron–hole exchange predestines TMDCs to be used to study fundamental and applied properties of Coulomb complexes such as valley depolarization of excitons and fine-structure splitting of trions. Biexcitons in these materials are less well understood and it has been established only recently that they are spectrally located between excitons and trions. Here we show that biexcitons in monolayer TMDCs exhibit a distinct and rich fine structure on the order of millielectronvolts due to electron–hole exchange. Ultrafast pump–probe experiments on monolayer WSe2 reveal decisive biexciton signatures and a fine structure in excellent agreement with a microscopic theory. We provide a pathway to understand the complex spectral structure of higher-order Coulomb complexes in TMDCs going beyond the usual classification scheme in terms of four-particle configurations.

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