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See detailExciton-Phonon Coupling in the Ultraviolet Absorption and Emission Spectra of Bulk Hexagonal Boron Nitride
Paleari, Fulvio UL; Miranda, Henrique P. C.; Molina-Sanchez, Alejandro et al

in PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS (2019), 122(18), 187401-6

We present an ab initio method to calculate phonon-assisted absorption and emission spectra in the presence of strong excitonic effects. We apply the method to bulk hexagonal BN, which has an indirect ... [more ▼]

We present an ab initio method to calculate phonon-assisted absorption and emission spectra in the presence of strong excitonic effects. We apply the method to bulk hexagonal BN, which has an indirect band gap and is known for its strong luminescence in the UV range. We first analyze the excitons at the wave vector (q) over bar of the indirect gap. The coupling of these excitons with the various phonon modes at (q) over bar is expressed in terms of a product of the mean square displacement of the atoms and the second derivative of the optical response function with respect to atomic displacement along the phonon eigenvectors. The derivatives are calculated numerically with a finite difference scheme in a supercell commensurate with (q) over bar. We use detailed balance arguments to obtain the intensity ratio between emission and absorption processes. Our results explain recent luminescence experiments and reveal the exciton-phonon coupling channels responsible for the emission lines. [less ▲]

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See detailIntravalley Spin-Flip Relaxation Dynamics in Single-Layer WS2
Wang, Zilong; Molina-Sanchez, Alejandro; Altmann, Patrick et al

in NANO LETTERS (2018), 18(11), 6882-6891

In monolayer (1L) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) the valence and conduction bands are spin-split because of the strong spin-orbit interaction. In tungsten-based TMDs the spin-ordering of the ... [more ▼]

In monolayer (1L) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) the valence and conduction bands are spin-split because of the strong spin-orbit interaction. In tungsten-based TMDs the spin-ordering of the conduction band is such that the so-called dark excitons, consisting of electrons and holes with opposite spin orientation, have lower energy than A excitons. The transition from bright to dark excitons involves the scattering of electrons from the upper to the lower conduction band at the K point of the Brillouin zone, with detrimental effects for the optoelectronic response of 1L-TMDs, since this reduces their light emission efficiency. Here, we exploit the valley selective optical selection rules and use two-color helicity-resolved pump-probe spectroscopy to directly measure the intravalley spin-flip relaxation dynamics in 1L-WS2. This occurs on a sub-ps time scale, and it is significantly dependent on temperature, indicative of phonon-assisted relaxation. Time-dependent ab initio calculations show that intravalley spin-flip scattering occurs on significantly longer time scales only at the K point, while the occupation of states away from the minimum of the conduction band significantly reduces the scattering time. Our results shed light on the scattering processes determining the light emission efficiency in optoelectronic and photonic devices based on 1L-TMDs. [less ▲]

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See detailInterlayer and intralayer excitons in MoS2/WS2 and MoSe2/WSe2 heterobilayers
Torun, Engin UL; Miranda, Henrique P.C.; Molina-Sánchez, Alejandro et al

in Physical Review. B, Condensed Matter (2018), 97

Accurately described excitonic properties of transition metal dichalcogenide heterobilayers (HBLs) are crucial to comprehend the optical response and the charge carrier dynamics of them. Excitons in ... [more ▼]

Accurately described excitonic properties of transition metal dichalcogenide heterobilayers (HBLs) are crucial to comprehend the optical response and the charge carrier dynamics of them. Excitons in multilayer systems possess an inter- or intralayer character whose spectral positions depend on their binding energy and the band alignment of the constituent single layers. In this paper, we report the electronic structure and the absorption spectra of MoS2/WS2 and MoSe2/WSe2 HBLs from first-principles calculations. We explore the spectral positions, binding energies, and the origins of inter- and intralayer excitons and compare our results with experimental observations. The absorption spectra of the systems are obtained by solving the Bethe-Salpeter equation on top of a G0W0 calculation, which corrects the independent-particle eigenvalues obtained from density-functional theory. Our calculations reveal that the lowest energy exciton in both HBLs possess an interlayer character which is decisive regarding their possible device applications. Due to the spatially separated nature of the charge carriers, the binding energy of interlayer excitons might be expected to be considerably smaller than that of intralayer ones. However, according to our calculations, the binding energy of lowest energy interlayer excitons is only ∼20% lower due to the weaker screening of the Coulomb interaction between layers of the HBLs. Therefore, it can be deduced that the spectral positions of the interlayer excitons with respect to intralayer ones are mostly determined by the band offset of the constituent single layers. By comparing oscillator strengths and thermal occupation factors, we show that in luminescence at low temperature, the interlayer exciton peak becomes dominant, while in absorption it is almost invisible. [less ▲]

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See detailExcitons in few-layer hexagonal boron nitride: Davydov splitting and surface localization
Paleari, Fulvio UL; Galvani, Thomas UL; Amara, Hakim et al

in 2D MATERIALS (2018), 5(4), 045017

Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) has been attracting great attention because of its strong excitonic effects. Taking into account few-layer systems, we investigate theoretically the effects of the number of ... [more ▼]

Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) has been attracting great attention because of its strong excitonic effects. Taking into account few-layer systems, we investigate theoretically the effects of the number of layers on quasiparticle energies, absorption spectra, and excitonic states, placing particular focus on the Davydov splitting of the lowest bound excitons. We describe how the inter-layer interaction as well as the variation in electronic screening as a function of layer number N affects the electronic and optical properties. Using both ab initio calculations and a tight-binding model for an effective Hamiltonian describing the excitons, we characterize in detail the symmetry of the excitonic wavefunctions and the selection rules for their coupling to incoming light. We show that for N > 2, one can distinguish between surface excitons that are mostly localized on the outer layers and inner excitons, leading to an asymmetry in the energy separation between split excitonic states. In particular, the bound surface excitons lie lower in energy than their inner counterparts. Additionally, this enables us to show how the layer thickness affects the shape of the absorption spectrum. [less ▲]

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