Optical fingerprint of bright and dark localized excitonic states in atomically thin 2D materials†
Point defects, local strain or impurities can crucially impact the optical response of atomically thin two-dimensional materials as they offer trapping potentials for excitons. These trapped excitons appear in photoluminescence spectra as new resonances below the bright exciton that can even be exploited for single photon emission. While large progress has been made in deterministically introducing defects, only little is known about their impact on the optical fingerprint of 2D materials. Here, based on a microscopic approach we reveal direct signatures of localized bright excitonic states as well as indirect phonon-assisted side bands of localized momentum-dark excitons. The visibility of localized excitons strongly depends on temperature and disorder potential width. This results in different regimes, where either the bright or dark localized states are dominant in optical spectra. We trace back this behavior to an interplay between disorder-induced exciton capture and intervalley exciton–phonon scattering processes.