Physical Review X

"Optical Signatures of Periodic Charge Distribution in a Mott-like Correlated Insulator State"

4. Mai 2021

The elementary optical excitations in two-dimensional semiconductors hosting itinerant electrons are attractive and repulsive polarons—excitons that are dynamically screened by electrons. Exciton polarons have hitherto been studied in translationally invariant degenerate Fermi systems. Here, we show that periodic distribution of electrons breaks the excitonic translational invariance and leads to a direct optical signature in the exciton-polaron spectrum. Specifically, we demonstrate that new optical resonances appear due to spatially modulated interactions between excitons and electrons in an incompressible Mott-like correlated state. Our observations demonstrate that resonant optical spectroscopy provides an invaluable tool for studying strongly correlated states, such as Wigner crystals and density waves, where exciton-electron interactions are modified by the emergence of charge order.

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