08.02.2024 Probing correlations in the exciton landscape of a moiré heterostructure (published in Science Advances)

Excitons are two-particle correlated bound states that are formed due to Coulomb interaction between single-particle holes and electrons. In the solid-state, cooperative interactions with surrounding quasiparticles can strongly tailor the exciton properties and potentially even create new correlated states of matter. It is thus highly desirable to access such cooperative and correlated exciton behavior on a fundamental level. Here, we find that the ultrafast transfer of an exciton's hole across a type-II band-aligned moiré heterostructure leads to a surprising sub-200-fs upshift of the single-particle energy of the electron being photoemitted from the two-particle exciton state. While energy relaxation usually leads to an energetic downshift of the spectroscopic signature, we show that this unusual upshift is a clear fingerprint of the correlated interactions of the electron and hole parts of the exciton quasiparticle. In this way, time-resolved photoelectron spectroscopy is straightforwardly established as a powerful method to access exciton correlations and cooperative behavior in two-dimensional quantum materials. Our work highlights this new capability and motivates the future study of optically inaccessible correlated excitonic and electronic states in moiré heterostructures.

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Science Advances 10, 6 (2024)