Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Denis Karaiskaj, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Andreas Muller, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Humberto Rodriguez Gutierrez, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Ashwin Parthasarathy, Ph.D.


Biexciton Coherence, Exciton Dynamics, Super Radiance, Time Integrated Four Wave Mixing


Beginning with the discovery of graphene, two-dimensional materials have amassed a strong interest. Like graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) can be coaxed into atomically thin sheets which have some impressive properties. Unlike graphene, TMDs also has a change in their electronic band structure causing an indirect band gap to a direct gap transition in its monolayer form. Additionally, these materials lose their inversion symmetry as a monolayer. These unique properties make TMDs a strong candidate for being used in optoelectronic and valleytronic devices. In order for these devices to be successful, the optical properties of TMDs must be thoroughly understood. Due to this class of material's strong Coulomb interaction, the optical properties are dominated by excitons, a quasiparticle made up of an electron-hole pair. Therefore, the success of these devices relies, in part, on understanding and manipulating excitons. One key parameter of excitons is their dephasing rate which characterizes the lifetime of the coherent superposition of two states (i.e. how the coherence decays which is caused by excitons interacting with their environment). In this work, two optical properties are investigated: (1) How the linear absorption of the TMDs A-exciton peak varies as the material increases in thickness. By looking at how the absorption varies by sample thickness, the interaction between emitters can be understood. Experimental results for the diamagnetic shift are presented which are used to determine the lateral excitonic size. Through theoretical calculations, based on the semiconductor Maxwell-Bloch equations, additional insight into the radiative coupling of the systems are obtained. (2) How the coherence prole of the exciton changes in the presence of an external magnetic eld and specic valley excitation. By varying the polarization scheme in the four wave mixing measurement, specic valley excitation can be selected, allowing for insight into the dephasing mechanisms. By applying an external magnetic eld, the energy levels of the electron and hole can be discretized and the corresponding eects on the system's coherence seen. In conjunction with time-dependent density function theory calculations and the experimental results, a deeper understanding of exciton dynamics and multi-exciton complexes was obtained. Finally, a new system is proposed in which complex spectroscopic techniques can be performed on micron sized samples as well as devices in the presence of an external magnetic eld at cryogen temperatures. This system will allow for the investigation of the optical properties of stacked monolayers (heterostructures) as well as devices.