Valley-polarized exitonic Mott insulator in WS2/WSe2 moiré superlattice

Z Lian and YZ Meng and L Ma and I Maity and L Yan and QR Wu and X Huang and DX Chen and XT Chen and XY Chen and M Blei and T Taniguchi and K Watanabe and S Tongay and J Lischner and YT Cui and SF Shi, NATURE PHYSICS (2023).

DOI: 10.1038/s41567-023-02266-2

The strongly enhanced electron-electron interactions in semiconducting moire superlattices formed by transition metal dichalcogenide heterobilayers have led to a plethora of intriguing fermionic correlated states. Meanwhile, interlayer excitons in a type II aligned heterobilayer moire superlattice, with electrons and holes separated in different layers, inherit this enhanced interaction and suggest that tunable correlated bosonic quasiparticles with a valley degree of freedom could be realized. Here we determine the spatial extent of interlayer excitons and the band hierarchy of correlated states that arises from the strong repulsion between interlayer excitons and correlated electrons in a WS2/WSe2 moire superlattice. We also find evidence that an excitonic Mott insulator state emerges when one interlayer exciton occupies one moire cell. Furthermore, the valley polarization of the excitonic Mott insulator state is enhanced by nearly one order of magnitude. Our study demonstrates that the WS2/WSe2 moire superlattice is a promising platform for engineering and exploring new correlated states of fermion, bosons and a mixture of both.

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