Because of the reduced dielectric screening and enhanced Coulomb interactions, two-dimensional (2D) materials like phosphorene and transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) exhibit strong excitonic effects, resulting in fascinating many-particle phenomena covering both intralayer and interlayer excitons. Their intrinsic band gaps and strong excitonic emissions allow the possibility to tune the inherent optical, electrical, and optoelectronic properties of 2D materials via a variety of external stimuli, making them potential candidates for novel optoelectronic applications. In this review, we summarize exciton physics and devices in 2D semiconductors and insulators, especially in phosphorene, TMDs, and their van der Waals heterostructures (vdWHs). In the first part, we discuss the remarkably versatile excitonic landscape, including bright and dark excitons, trions, biexcitons, and interlayer excitons. In the second part, we examine common control methods to tune excitonic effects via electrical, magnetic, optical, and mechanical means. In the next stage, we provide recent advances on the optoelectronic device applications, such as electroluminescent devices, photovoltaic solar cells, and photodetectors. We conclude with a brief discussion on their potential to exploit vdWHs toward unique exciton physics and devices.
Part of the book: Advances in Condensed-Matter and Materials Physics