Anomalous Raman spectra and thickness-dependent electronic properties of WSe2

H. Sahin, S. Tongay, S. Horzum, W. Fan, J. Zhou, J. Li, J. Wu, F. M. Peeters

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

414 Scopus citations


Typical Raman spectra of transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) display two prominent peaks, E2g and A1g, that are well separated from each other. We find that these modes are degenerate in bulk WSe2 yielding one single Raman peak in contrast to other TMDs. As the dimensionality is lowered, the observed peak splits in two. In contrast, our ab initio calculations predict that the degeneracy is retained even for WSe2 monolayers. Interestingly, for minuscule biaxial strain, the degeneracy is preserved, but once the crystal symmetry is broken by a small uniaxial strain, the degeneracy is lifted. Our calculated phonon dispersion for uniaxially strained WSe2 shows a good match to the measured Raman spectrum, which suggests that uniaxial strain exists in WSe2 flakes, possibly induced during the sample preparation and/or as a result of the interaction between WSe2 and the substrate. Furthermore, we find that WSe 2 undergoes an indirect-to-direct band-gap transition from bulk to monolayers, which is ubiquitous for semiconducting TMDs. These results not only allow us to understand the vibrational and electronic properties of WSe 2, but also point to effects of the interaction between the monolayer TMDs and the substrate on the vibrational and electronic properties.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number165409
JournalPhysical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics
Issue number16
StatePublished - Apr 5 2013
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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