Monolayer transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) in the 2H-phase are promising semiconductors for opto-valleytronic and opto-spintronic applications because of their strong spin-valley coupling. Here, we report detailed studies of opto-valleytronic properties of heterogeneous domains in CVD-grown monolayer WS2 single crystals. By illuminating WS2 with off-resonance circularly polarized light and measuring the resulting spatially resolved circularly polarized emission (Pcirc), we find significantly large circular polarization (Pcirc up to 60% and 45% for α- and β-domains, respectively) already at 300 K, which increases to nearly 90% in the α-domains at 80 K. Studies of spatially resolved photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy, Raman spectroscopy, X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy, Kelvin-probe force microscopy, and conductive atomic force microscopy reveal direct correlation among the PL intensity, defect densities, and chemical potential, with the α-domains showing lower defect densities and a smaller work function by 0.13 eV than the β-domains. This work function difference indicates the occurrence of type-two band alignments between the α- and β-domains. We adapt a classical model to explain how electronically active defects may serve as nonradiative recombination centers and find good agreement between experiments and the model. Scanning tunneling microscopic/spectroscopic (STM/STS) studies provide further evidence for tungsten vacancies (WVs) being the primary defects responsible for the suppressed PL and circular polarization in WS2. These results therefore suggest a pathway to control the opto-valleytronic properties of TMDCs by means of defect engineering.
- transition metal dichalcogenides
- valley polarization