Spectromicroscopic measurements of electronic structure variations in atomically thin WSe2
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Atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) are promising candidates for implementation in next generation semiconducting devices, for which laterally homogeneous behavior is needed. Here, we study the electronic structure of atomically thin exfoliated WSe2, a prototypical TMDC with large spin–orbit coupling, by photoemission electron microscopy, electron energy-loss spectroscopy, and density functional theory. We resolve the inhomogeneities of the doping level by the varying energy positions of the valence band. There appear to be different types of inhomogeneities that respond differently to electron doping, introduced by potassium intercalation. In addition, we find that the doping process itself is more complex than previously anticipated and entails a distinct orbital and thickness dependence that needs to be considered for effective band engineering. In particular, the density of selenium vs tungsten states depends on the doping level, which leads to changes in the optical response beyond increased dielectric screening. Our work gives insight into the inhomogeneity of the electron structure of WSe2 and the effects of electron doping, provides microscopic understanding thereof, and improves the basis for property engineering of 2D materials.