Anomalous exciton Rydberg series in two-dimensional semiconductors on high- κ dielectric substrates

Anders C. Riis-Jensen, Morten N. Gjerding, Saverio Russo, Kristian Sommer Thygesen

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Engineering of the dielectric environment represents a powerful strategy to control the electronic and optical properties of two-dimensional (2D) materials without compromising their structural integrity. Here we show that the use of high-κ dielectrics presents new opportunities for controlling the excitonic states of 2D semiconductors. By solving a 2D Mott-Wannier exciton model for WSe2 on different substrates using a screened electron-hole interaction obtained from first principles, we demonstrate that the exciton Rydberg series changes qualitatively when the dielectric screening within the 2D semiconductor becomes dominated by the substrate. In this regime, the distance dependence of the screening is reversed and the effective screening increases with exciton radius, which is opposite to the conventional 2D screening regime. Consequently, higher excitonic states become underbound rather than overbound as compared to the hydrogenic Rydberg series. Finally, we derive a general analytical expression for the exciton binding energy of the entire 2D Rydberg series.
Original languageEnglish
Article number201402
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number20
Number of pages5
Publication statusPublished - 2020


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