Theses Doctoral

Low-Temperature Transport Study of Transition Metal Dichalcogenide Heterostructures

Shih, En-Min

The electron-electron interaction is the origin of many interesting phenomena in condensed matter. These phenomena post challenges to theoretical physics and can lead to important future applications. Transition metal dichalcogenide heterostructures provide excellent platforms to study these phenomena because of the two-dimensional nature, large effective mass and tunable bandwidth with moiré potential. As electron bands become narrower such that the Coulomb interaction energy becomes comparable to the bandwidth, interactions can drive new quantum phases. This dissertation describes the realization of this platform and probing of correlated phenomena with low- temperature transport measurements.

As the first step, the electrical contact problem of few-layer transition metal dichalcogenides, which prohibits low-temperature transport measurements, needs to be solved. Two different contact schemes have been used to attack this problem. For p-type transition metal dichalcogenide, prepatterned platinum is used to bottom contact transition metal dichalcogenides. This method prevents channel from deterioration due to electron beam evaporation and the high workfunction platinum can place the Fermi level underneath the material valence band. Alternatively, for n-type transition metal dichalcogenides, a single layer of boron nitride is put on transition metal dichalcogenide before cobalt evaporation. This way, the boron nitride layer protects the transition metal dichalcogenide from the process of evaporation and can decrease the work function of cobalt thus putting Fermi level above the conduction band. With these contact methods, Ohmic contacts can be achieved at cryogenic temperature and probing the transition metal dichalcogenide heterostructures with transport measurements become accessible.

Then, the magnetotransport properties of monolayer molybdenum disulphide and bilayer tungsten diselenide encapsulated with boron nitride with graphite dual-gate were measured. There are three unique features underlie this two dimensional electron gas system. First, the system is strong correlated. The Landau level spectrum reveals strong correlated signatures, such as enhanced spin-orbit coupling splitting and enhanced effective g-factor. Second, the longitudinal resistance/conductance at half-filling of Landau levels are found to depend on the spin orientation. The minority spin Landau level become totally localized at higher magnetic field. Third, in bilayer device the two layers are weak coupled and can be independently controlled by two gates. All this features establish transition metal dichalcogenide a unique platform for studying correlated physics.

Finally, to achieve higher level of correlation, two layers of tungsten diselenide are stacked together with a small twist angle. With the help of moiré potential and layer hybridization, the bandwidth can be continuously tuned by the twist angle. In the range of 3 degree to 5.1degree, with moderate correlation strength, correlated insulating states are shown at half-filled flatband and are highly tunable with vertical electric field.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Dean, Cory R.
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 5, 2020