Hyeonjun Baek, Mauro Brotons-Gisbert, Aidan Campbell, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Brian D. Gerardot, Optical read-out of Coulomb staircases in a moiré superlattice via trapped interlayer trions, https://arxiv.org/abs/2102.01358


Moiré patterns with a superlattice potential can be formed by vertically stacking two layered materials with a relative twist or lattice constant mismatch. The moiré superlattice can generate flat bands that result in new correlated insulating, superconducting, and topological states. Strong electron correlations, tunable by the fractional filling, have been observed in both graphene and transition metal dichalcogenide (TMD) based systems. In addition, in TMD based systems, the moiré potential landscape can trap interlayer excitons (IX) at specific atomic registries. Here we report that spatially isolated trapped IX in a molybdenum diselenide/tungsten diselenide heterobilayer device provide a sensitive optical probe of carrier filling in their immediate environment. By mapping the spatial positions of individual trapped IX, we are able to spectrally track the emitters as the moiré lattice is filled with excess carriers. Upon initial doping of the heterobilayer, neutral trapped IX form charged IX (IX trions) uniformly with a binding energy of ~7 meV. Upon further doping, the empty superlattice sites sequentially fill, creating a Coulomb staircase: stepwise changes in the IX trion emission energy due to Coulomb interactions with carriers at nearest neighbour moiré sites. This non-invasive, highly local technique can complement transport and non-local optical sensing techniques to characterise Coulomb interaction energies, visualise charge correlated states, or probe local disorder in a moiré superlattice.