Pressure tuning of minibands in MoS2/WSe2 heterostructures revealed by moiré phonons


Luiz G. Pimenta Martins, David A. Ruiz-Tijerina, Connor A. Occhialini, Ji-Hoon Park, Qian Song, Ang-Yu Lu, Pedro Venezuela, Luiz G. Cançado, Mário S. C. Mazzoni, Matheus J. S. Matos, Jing Kong, and Riccardo Comin. 2023. “Pressure tuning of minibands in MoS2/WSe2 heterostructures revealed by moiré phonons.” Nature Nanotechnology.


Moiré superlattices of two-dimensional heterostructures arose as a new platform to investigate emergent behaviour in quantum solids with unprecedented tunability. To glean insights into the physics of these systems, it is paramount to discover new probes of the moiré potential and moiré minibands, as well as their dependence on external tuning parameters. Hydrostatic pressure is a powerful control parameter, since it allows to continuously and reversibly enhance the moiré potential. Here we use high pressure to tune the minibands in a rotationally aligned MoS2/WSe2 moiré heterostructure, and show that their evolution can be probed via moiré phonons. The latter are Raman-inactive phonons from the individual layers that are activated by the moiré potential. Moiré phonons manifest themselves as satellite Raman peaks arising exclusively from the heterostructure region, increasing in intensity and frequency under applied pressure. Further theoretical analysis reveals that their scattering rate is directly connected to the moiré potential strength. By comparing the experimental and calculated pressure-induced enhancement, we obtain numerical estimates for the moiré potential amplitude and its pressure dependence. The present work establishes moiré phonons as a sensitive probe of the moiré potential as well as the electronic structures of moiré systems.