Valley Zeeman Effect in Elementary Optical Excitations of a Monolayer WSe2

Research paper by Ajit Srivastava, Meinrad Sidler, Adrien V. Allain, Dominik S. Lembke, Andras Kis, Atac Imamoglu

Indexed on: 09 Jul '14Published on: 09 Jul '14Published in: Physics - Mesoscopic Systems and Quantum Hall Effect


A monolayer of a transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) such as WSe$_2$ is a two-dimensional (2D) direct band-gap valley-semiconductor having an effective Honeycomb lattice structure with broken inversion symmetry. The inequivalent valleys in the Brillouin zone could be selectively addressed using circularly-polarized light fields, suggesting the possibility for magneto-optical measurement and manipulation of the valley pseudospin degree of freedom. Here we report such experiments that demonstrate the valley Zeeman effect -- strongly anisotropic lifting of the degeneracy of the valley pseudospin degree of freedom using an external magnetic field. While the valley-splitting measured using the exciton transition is consistent with the difference of the conduction and valence band orbital magnetic moments, the trion transition exhibits an unexpectedly large valley Zeeman effect which cannot be understood using an independent electron-hole picture. Instead, we find an explanation using the recently predicted large Berry curvature and the associated magnetic moment for the electron-hole exchange interaction modified trion dispersion. Our results raise the possibility of observing optical excitation induced valley Hall effect in monolayer TMDs or topological states of photons strongly coupled to trion excitations in a microcavity.