Strain-induced bound states in transition-metal dichalcogenide bubbles
L. Chirolli, E. Prada, F. Guinea, R. Roldán and P. San-Jose
We theoretically study the formation of single-particle bound states confined by strain at the center of bubbles in monolayers of transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs). Bubbles ubiquitously form in two-dimensional crystals on top of a substrate by the competition between van der Waals forces and the hydrostatic pressure exerted by trapped fluid. This leads to strong strain at the center of the bubble that reduces the bangap locally, creating potential wells for the electrons that confine states inside. We simulate the spectrum versus the bubble radius for the four semiconducting group VI TMDs, MoS2, WSe2, WS2 and MoSe2, and find an overall Fock–Darwin spectrum of bubble bound states, characterised by small deviations compatible with Berry curvature effects. We analyse the density of states, the state degeneracies, orbital structure and optical transition rules. Our results show that elastic bubbles in these materials are remarkably efficient at confining photocarriers.