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Junrong Zheng completed his PhD and postdoctoral studies from Stanford University. He is professor of chemistry at Peking University, and a co-founder of Uptek Solutions, a Long-Island-based laser company. He is a recipient of numerous prestigious awards including the Sloan Fellowship, and the Packard Fellowship
Electron/hole transformations on interfaces determine fundamental properties of opto-electrochemical devices, but remain a grand challenge to experimentally investigate and theoretically describe. Herein combining ultrafast VIS/NIR/MIR frequencymixed micro-spectroscopy and state-of-the-art twodimensional atomic device fabrications, we are able to directly monitor the phase transitions of charged quasiparticles in real time on the ultimate interfaces – between two atomic layers. On type II semiconductor/ semiconductor interfaces between two transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDC) monolayers, interfacial charge transfers occur within 50fs and interlayer hot excitons (unbound interlayer e/h pairs) are the necessary intermediate of the process for both energy and momentum conservations. On semiconductor/ conductor (graphene) interfaces, interlayer charge transfers result in an unexpected transformation of conducting free carriers into insulating interlayer excitons between the conducting graphene and the semiconducting TMDC. The formation of interlayer excitons significantly improves the charge separation efficiency between the two atomic layers for more than twenty times.