Detecting, Distinguishing, and Spatiotemporally Tracking Photogenerated Charge and Heat at the Nanoscale

Hannah L. Weaver, Cora M. Went, Joeson Wong, Dipti Jasrasaria, Eran Rabani, Harry A. Atwater, Naomi S. Ginsberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Since dissipative processes are ubiquitous in semiconductors, characterizing how electronic and thermal energy transduce and transport at the nanoscale is vital for understanding and leveraging their fundamental properties. For example, in low-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs), excess heat generation upon photoexcitation is difficult to avoid since even with modest injected exciton densities exciton-exciton annihilation still occurs. Both heat and photoexcited electronic species imprint transient changes in the optical response of a semiconductor, yet the distinct signatures of each are difficult to disentangle in typical spectra due to overlapping resonances. In response, we employ stroboscopic optical scattering microscopy (stroboSCAT) to simultaneously map both heat and exciton populations in few-layer MoS2 on relevant nanometer and picosecond length- and time scales and with 100-mK temperature sensitivity. We discern excitonic contributions to the signal from heat by combining observations close to and far from exciton resonances, characterizing the photoinduced dynamics for each. Our approach is general and can be applied to any electronic material, including thermoelectrics, where heat and electronic observables spatially interplay, and it will enable direct and quantitative discernment of different types of coexisting energy without recourse to complex models or underlying assumptions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19011-19021
Number of pages11
JournalACS Nano
Issue number19
StatePublished - 10 Oct 2023


  • energy transport
  • excitons
  • nanoscale
  • optical properties
  • thermometry

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering
  • General Materials Science
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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