Vertically stacked van der Waals heterostructures constitute a promising platform for providing tailored band alignment with enhanced excitonic systems. Here, we report observations of neutral and charged interlayer excitons in trilayer WSe2–MoSe2–WSe2 van der Waals heterostructures and their dynamics. The addition of a WSe2 layer in the trilayer leads to significantly higher photoluminescence quantum yields and tunable spectral resonance compared to its bilayer heterostructures at cryogenic temperatures. The observed enhancement in the photoluminescence quantum yield is due to significantly larger electron–hole overlap and higher light absorbance in the trilayer heterostructure, supported via first-principles pseudopotential calculations based on spin-polarized density functional theory. We further uncover the temperature- and power-dependence, as well as time-resolved photoluminescence of the trilayer heterostructure interlayer neutral excitons and trions. Our study elucidates the prospects of manipulating light emission from interlayer excitons and designing atomic heterostructures from first-principles for optoelectronics.
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The authors are grateful for helpful discussions with Philip Kim, Tony van Buuren, Jinkang Lim, Zhangji Zhao, Jin Ho Kang, Baicheng Yao, and Yandong Luo. We acknowledge support from the University of California—National Laboratory Research Program and the National Science Foundation (DMR-1611598).