Tuning Valley Polarization in a WSe2 Monolayer with a Tiny Magnetic Field

In monolayers of semiconducting transition metal dichalcogenides, the light helicity is locked to the valley degree of freedom, leading to the possibility of optical initialization of distinct valley populations. However, an extremely rapid valley pseudospin relaxation (at the time scale of picoseconds) occurring for optically bright (electric-dipole active) excitons imposes some limitations on the development of opto-valleytronics. Here, we show that valley pseudospin relaxation of excitons can be significantly suppressed in a WSe2 monolayer, a direct-gap two-dimensional semiconductor with the exciton ground state being optically dark. We demonstrate that the already inefficient relaxation of the exciton pseudospin in such a system can be suppressed even further by the application of a tiny magnetic field of about 100 mT. Time-resolved spectroscopy reveals the pseudospin dynamics to be a two-step relaxation process. An initial decay of the pseudospin occurs at the level of dark excitons on a time scale of 100 ps, which is tunable with a magnetic field. This decay is followed by even longer decay ( >1 ns), once the dark excitons form more complex pseudo-particles allowing for their radiative recombination. Our findings of slow valley pseudospin relaxation easily manipulated by the magnetic field open new prospects for engineering the dynamics of the valley pseudospin in transition metal dichalcogenides.

More on this topic : T. Smolenski et al., Phys. Rev. X 6, 021024, (2016)