Enhanced Neutral Exciton Diffusion in Monolayer WS2by Exciton-Exciton Annihilation

Shiekh Zia Uddin, Naoki Higashitarumizu, Hyungjin Kim, Jun Yi, Xiang Zhang, Daryl Chrzan, Ali Javey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Dominant recombination pathways in monolayer transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) depend primarily on background carrier concentration, generation rate, and applied strain. Charged excitons formed in the presence of background carriers mainly recombine nonradiatively. Neutral excitons recombine completely radiatively at low generation rates, but experience nonradiative exciton-exciton annihilation (EEA) at high generation rates. Strain can suppress EEA, resulting in near-unity photoluminescence quantum yield (PL QY) at all exciton densities. Although exciton diffusion is the primary channel of energy transport in excitonic materials and a critical optoelectronic design consideration, the combined effects of these factors on exciton diffusion are not clearly understood. In this work, we decouple the diffusion of neutral and charged excitons with chemical counterdoping and explore the effect of strain and generation rate on exciton diffusion. According to the standard semiconductor paradigm, a shorter carrier recombination lifetime should lead to a smaller diffusion length. Surprisingly, we find that increasing generation rate shortens the exciton lifetime but increases the diffusion length in unstrained monolayers of TMDCs. When we suppress EEA by strain, both lifetime and diffusion length become independent of generation rate. During EEA one exciton nonradiatively recombines and kinetically energizes another exciton, which then diffuses fast. Our results probe concentration-dependent diffusion of pure neutral excitons by counterdoping and elucidate how strain controls exciton transport and many-body interactions in TMDC monolayers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalACS Nano
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Materials Sciences and Engineering Division, under contract no. DE-AC02-05-CH11231 (EMAT program KC1201). N.H. acknowledges support from Postdoctoral Fellowships for Research Abroad of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science.

Publisher Copyright:

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Materials Science(all)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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