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Probing Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Monolayers and Heterostructures by Optical Spectroscopy and Scanning Tunneling Spectroscopy

Hill, Heather Marie

Atomically thin two-dimensional materials, such as graphene and semiconductor transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), exhibit remarkable and desirable optical and electronic properties. This dissertation focuses on the excitonic properties of monolayer TMDCs taken first in isolation and then in contact with another material. We begin with a study of the exciton binding energy in two monolayer TMDCs, WS₂ and MoS₂. We observe excited states of the exciton by two different optical spectroscopy techniques: reflectance contrast and photoluminescence excitation (PLE) spectroscopy. We fit a hydrogenic model to the energies associated with the excited states and infer a binding energy, which is an order of magnitude higher than the bulk material. In the second half of this work, we study two types of two-dimensional vertical heterostructures. First, we investigate heterostructures composed of monolayer WS₂ partially capped with graphene one to four layers thick. Using reflectance contrast to measure the spectral broadening of the excitonic features, we measure the decrease in the coherence lifetime of the exciton in WS₂ due to charge and energy transfer when in contact with graphene. We then compare our results with the exciton lifetime in MoS₂/WS₂ and MoSe₂/WSe₂ heterostructures. In TMDC/TMDC heterostructures, the decrease in exciton lifetime is twice that in WS₂/graphene heterostructures and due predominantly to charge transfer between the layers. Finally, we probe the band alignment in MoS₂/WS₂ heterostructures using scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and spectroscopy (STS).We confirm the monolayer band gaps and the predicted type II band alignment in the heterostructure. Drawing from all the research presented, we arrive at a favorable conclusion about the viability of TMDC based devices.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Heinz, Tony F.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
April 11, 2016