Electronic and optical properties of vacancy defects in single-layer transition metal dichalcogenides
AbstractA detailed first-principles study has been performed to evaluate the electronic and optical properties of single-layer (SL) transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) (MX2; M = transition metal such as Mo, W, and X = S, Se, Te), in the presence of vacancy defects (VDs). Defects usually play an important role in tailoring electronic, optical, and magnetic properties of semiconductors. We consider three types of VDs in SL TMDCs: (i) X vacancy, (ii) X2 vacancy, and (iii) M vacancy. We show that VDs lead to localized defect states (LDS) in the band structure, which in turn gives rise to sharp transitions in in-plane and out-of-plane optical susceptibilities, χ∥ and χ⊥. The effects of spin-orbit coupling (SOC) are also considered. We find that SOC splitting in LDS is directly related to the atomic number of the transition metal atoms. Apart from electronic and optical properties we also find magnetic signatures (local magnetic moment of ∼μB) in MoSe2 in the presence of the Mo vacancy, which breaks the time-reversal symmetry and therefore lifts the Kramers degeneracy. We show that a simple qualitative tight-binding model (TBM), involving only the hopping between atoms surrounding the vacancy with an on-site SOC term, is sufficient to capture the essential features of LDS. In addition, the existence of the LDS can be understood from the solution of the two-dimensional Dirac Hamiltonian by employing infinite mass boundary conditions. In order to provide a clear description of the optical absorption spectra, we use group theory to derive the optical selection rules between LDS for both χ∥ and χ⊥.