Direct Measurement of Exciton Valley Coherence in Monolayer WSe$_2$

29 Sep 2015  ·  Hao Kai, Moody Galan, Wu Fengcheng, Dass Chandriker Kavir, Xu Lixiang, Chen Chang-Hsaio, Li Ming-Yang, Li Lain-Jong, MacDonald Allan H., Li Xiaoqin ·

In crystals, energy band extrema in momentum space can be identified by their valley index. The internal quantum degree of freedom associated with valley pseudospin indices can act as a useful information carrier analogous to electronic charge or spin... Interest in valleytronics has been revived in recent years following the discovery of atomically thin materials such as graphene and transition metal dichalcogenides. However, the valley coherence time, a key quantity for manipulating the valley pseudospin, has never been measured in any material. In this work, we use a sequence of laser pulses to resonantly generate a coherent superposition of excitons (Coulomb-bound electron-hole pairs) in opposite valleys of monolayer WSe$_2$. The imposed valley coherence persists for approximately one hundred femtoseconds. We propose that the electron-hole exchange interaction provides an important decoherence mechanism in addition to exciton population decay. Our work provides critical insight into the requirements and strategies for optical manipulation of the valley pseudospin for future valleytronics applications. read more

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Mesoscale and Nanoscale Physics