Electrical tuning of valley magnetic moment through symmetry control in bilayer MoS 2

Sanfeng Wu, Jason S. Ross, Gui Bin Liu, Grant Aivazian, Aaron Jones, Zaiyao Fei, Wenguang Zhu, Di Xiao, Wang Yao, David Cobden, Xiaodong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

531 Scopus citations


Crystal symmetry governs the nature of electronic Bloch states. For example, in the presence of time-reversal symmetry, the orbital magnetic moment and Berry curvature of the Bloch states must vanish unless inversion symmetry is broken. In certain two-dimensional electron systems such as bilayer graphene, the intrinsic inversion symmetry can be broken simply by applying a perpendicular electric field. In principle, this offers the possibility of switching on/off and continuously tuning the magnetic moment and Berry curvature near the Dirac valleys by reversible electrical control. Here we investigate this possibility using polarization-resolved photoluminescence of bilayer MoS 2 , which has the same symmetry as bilayer graphene but has a bandgap in the visible spectrum allowing direct optical probing. We find that in bilayer MoS 2 the circularly polarized photoluminescence can be continuously tuned from-15% to 15% as a function of gate voltage, whereas in structurally non-centrosymmetric monolayer MoS 2 the photoluminescence polarization is gate independent. The observations are well explained as resulting from the continuous variation of orbital magnetic moments between positive and negative values through symmetry control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)149-153
Number of pages5
JournalNature Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2013
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Physics and Astronomy


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