Recent technical progress demonstrates the possibility of stacking together virtually any combination of atomically thin crystals of van der Waals bonded compounds to form new types of heterostructures and interfaces. As a result, there is the need to understand at a quantitative level how the interfacial properties are determined by the properties of the constituent 2D materials. We address this problem by studying the transport and optoelectronic response of two different interfaces based on transition-metal dichalcogenide monolayers, namely WSe2-MoSe2 and WSe2-MoS2. By exploiting the spectroscopic capabilities of ionic liquid gated transistors, we show how the conduction and valence bands of the individual monolayers determine the bands of the interface, and we establish quantitatively (directly from the measurements) the energetic alignment of the bands in the different materials as well as the magnitude of the interfacial band gap. Photoluminescence and photocurrent measurements allow us to conclude that the band gap of the WSe2-MoSe2 interface is direct in k space, whereas the gap of WSe2/MoS2 is indirect. For WSe2/MoSe2, we detect the light emitted from the decay of interlayer excitons and determine experimentally their binding energy using the values of the interfacial band gap extracted from transport measurements. The technique that we employed to reach this conclusion demonstrates a rather-general strategy for characterizing quantitatively the interfacial properties in terms of the properties of the constituent atomic layers. The results presented here further illustrate how van der Waals interfaces of two distinct 2D semiconducting materials are composite systems that truly behave as artificial semiconductors, the properties of which can be deterministically defined by the selection of the appropriate constituent semiconducting monolayers.
Published : "arXiv Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics".