Prediction of intrinsic two-dimensional ferroelectrics in In 2 Se 3 and other III 2-VI 3 van der Waals materials

Nat Commun. 2017 Apr 7;8:14956. doi: 10.1038/ncomms14956.


Interest in two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals materials has grown rapidly across multiple scientific and engineering disciplines in recent years. However, ferroelectricity, the presence of a spontaneous electric polarization, which is important in many practical applications, has rarely been reported in such materials so far. Here we employ first-principles calculations to discover a branch of the 2D materials family, based on In2Se3 and other III2-VI3 van der Waals materials, that exhibits room-temperature ferroelectricity with reversible spontaneous electric polarization in both out-of-plane and in-plane orientations. The device potential of these 2D ferroelectric materials is further demonstrated using the examples of van der Waals heterostructures of In2Se3/graphene, exhibiting a tunable Schottky barrier, and In2Se3/WSe2, showing a significant band gap reduction in the combined system. These findings promise to substantially broaden the tunability of van der Waals heterostructures for a wide range of applications.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't