Prasenjit Dey

Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Denis Karaiskaj, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Myung Kim, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andreas Muller, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jiangfeng Zhou, Ph.D.


Layered semiconductors, dephasing, two-dimensional Fourier transform spectroscopy, exciton-phonon interaction, homogeneous linewidth


Atomically thin, semiconducting transition metal dichalogenides (TMDs), a special class of layered semiconductors, that can be shaped as a perfect two dimensional material, have garnered a lot of attention owing to their fascinating electronic properties which are achievable at the extreme nanoscale. In contrast to graphene, the most celebrated two-dimensional (2D) material thus far; TMDs exhibit a direct band gap in the monolayer regime. The presence of a non-zero bandgap along with the broken inversion symmetry in the monolayer limit brands semiconducting TMDs as the perfect candidate for future optoelectronic and valleytronics-based device application. These remarkable discoveries demand exploration of different materials that possess similar properties alike TMDs. Recently, III-VI layered semiconducting materials (example: InSe, GaSe etc.) have also emerged as potential materials for optical device based applications as, similar to TMDs, they can be shaped into a perfect two-dimensional form as well as possess a sizable band gap in their nano-regime. The perfect 2D character in layered materials cause enhancement of strong Coulomb interaction. As a result, excitons, a coulomb bound quasiparticle made of electron-hole pair, dominate the optical properties near the bandgap. The basis of development for future optoelectronic-based devices requires accurate characterization of the essential properties of excitons. Two fundamental parameters that characterize the quantum dynamics of excitons are: a) the dephasing rate, 𝛾, which represents the coherence loss due to the interaction of the excitons with their environment (for example- phonons, impurities, other excitons, etc.) and b) excited state population decay rate arising from radiative and non-radiative relaxation processes. The dephasing rate is representative of the time scale over which excitons can be coherently manipulated, therefore accurately probing the source of exciton decoherence is crucial for understanding the basic unexplored science as well as creating technological developments. The dephasing dynamics in semiconductors typically occur in the picosecond to femtosecond timescale, thus the use of ultrafast laser spectroscopy is a potential route to probe such excitonic responses.

The focus of this dissertation is two-fold: firstly, to develop the necessary instrumentation to accurately probe the aforementioned parameters and secondly, to explore the quantum dynamics and the underlying many-body interactions in different layered semiconducting materials. A custom-built multidimensional optical non-linear spectrometer was developed in order to perform two-dimensional spectroscopic (2DFT) measurements. The advantages of this technique are multifaceted compared to regular one-dimensional and non-linear incoherent techniques. 2DFT technique is based on an enhanced version of Four wave mixing experiments. This powerful tool is capable of identifying the resonant coupling, probing the coherent pathways, unambiguously extracting the homogeneous linewidth in the presence of inhomogeneity and decomposing a complex spectra into real and imaginary parts. It is not possible to uncover such crucial features by employing one dimensional non-linear technique.

Monolayers as well as bulk TMDs and group III-VI bulk layered materials are explored in this dissertation. The exciton quantum dynamics is explored with three pulse four-wave mixing whereas the phase sensitive measurements are obtained by employing two-dimensional Fourier transform spectroscopy. Temperature and excitation density dependent 2DFT experiments unfold the information associated with the many-body interactions in the layered semiconducting samples.