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Probing Spin–Orbit Coupling and Interlayer Coupling in Atomically Thin Molybdenum Disulfide Using Hydrostatic Pressure

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journal contribution
posted on 26.01.2016, 00:00 by Xiuming Dou, Kun Ding, Desheng Jiang, Xiaofeng Fan, Baoquan Sun
In two-dimensional transition-metal dichalcogenides, both spin–orbit coupling and interlayer coupling play critical roles in the electronic band structure and are desirable for the potential applications in spin electronics. Here, we demonstrate the pressure characteristics of the exciton absorption peaks (so-called excitons A, B and C) in monolayer, bilayer, and trilayer molybdenum disulfide (MoS2) by studying the reflectance spectra under hydrostatic pressure and performing the electronic band structure calculations based on density functional theory to account for the experimental observations. We find that the valence band maximum splitting at the K point in monolayer MoS2, induced by spin–orbit coupling, remains almost unchanged with increasing pressure applied up to 3.98 GPa, indicating that the spin–orbit coupling is insensitive to the pressure. For bilayer and trilayer MoS2, however, the splitting shows an increase with increasing pressure due to the pressure-induced strengthening of the interlayer coupling. The experimental results are in good agreement with the theoretical calculations. Moreover, the exciton C is identified to be the interband transition related to the van Hove singularity located at a special point which is approximately 1/4 of the total length of Γ–K away from the Γ point in the Brillouin zone.