VALLEYTRONICS: Valley-polarized exciton dynamics in a 2D semiconductor heterostructure

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Heterostructures comprising different monolayer semiconductors provide an attractive setting for fundamental science and device technologies, such as in the emerging field of valleytronics. We realized valley-specific interlayer excitons in monolayer WSe2-MoSe2 vertical heterostructures. We created interlayer exciton spin-valley polarization by means of circularly polarized optical pumping and determined a valley lifetime of 40 nanoseconds. This long-lived polarization enables the visualization of the expansion of a valley-polarized exciton cloud over several micrometers. The spatial pattern of the polarization evolves into a ring with increasing exciton density, a manifestation of valley exciton exchange interactions. Our work introduces van der Waals heterostructures as a promising platform from which to study valley exciton physics.

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