Several experimental groups have shown that defect structures in 2D WSe2 result in single photon emission (SPE). However, the origin of SPE is still unknown. We present a first principles study of the nature and optical properties of point defects in 2D WSe2, together with scanning tunneling microscopy (STM) and scanning transmission electron microscopy images. We predict that O2 can dissociate easily at Se vacancies, resulting in O-passivated Se vacancies (O-Se) and O interstitials (O-ins), which give STM images in good agreement with experiment. Our GW-Bethe-Salpeter-equation calculations show that O-ins defects give exciton peaks ~50-100 meV below the free exciton peak, in good agreement with the localized excitons observed in independent SPE experiments. No other point defect (O-Se, Se vacancies, W vacancies, and Se-W antisite defects) gives excitons in the same energy range. We conclude that the O-ins defect is a source for the SPE previously observed in 2D WSe2.
Published in: "arXiv Material Science".