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News 08.05.2024

New publication: Distance dependence of the energy transfer mechanism in WS2-graphene heterostructures

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Phys. Rev. Lett. 132, 196902 (2024)
We report on the mechanism of energy transfer in van der Waals heterostructures of the twodimensional semiconductor WS2 and graphene with varying interlayer distances, achieved through spacer layers of hexagonal boron nitride (hBN). We record photoluminescence and reflection spectra at interlayer distances between 0.5 nm and 5.8 nm (0-16 hBN layers). We find that the energy transfer is dominated by states outside the light cone, indicative of a Förster transfer process, with an additional contribution from a Dexter process at 0.5 nm interlayer distance. We find that the measured dependence of the luminescence intensity on interlayer distances above 1 nm can be quantitatively described using recently reported values of the Förster transfer rates of thermalized charge carriers. At smaller interlayer distances, the experimentally observed transfer rates exceed the predictions and furthermore depend on excess energy as well as on excitation density. Since the transfer probability of the Förster mechanism depends on the momentum of electron-hole pairs, we conclude that at these distances, the transfer is driven by non-thermalized charge carrier distributions.

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