Enriching the functionality of ferroelectric materials with visible-light sensitivity and multiaxial switching capability would open up new opportunities for their applications in advanced information storage with diverse signal manipulation functions. We report experimental observations of robust intralayer ferroelectricity in two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals layered α-In2Se3 ultrathin flakes at room temperature. Distinct from other 2D and conventional ferroelectrics, In2Se3 exhibits intrinsically intercorrelated out-of-plane and in-plane polarization, where the reversal of the out-of-plane polarization by a vertical electric field also induces the rotation of the in-plane polarization. On the basis of the in-plane switchable diode effect and the narrow bandgap (∼1.3 eV) of ferroelectric In2Se3, a prototypical nonvolatile memory device, which can be manipulated both by electric field and visible light illumination, is demonstrated for advancing data storage technologies.
Keywords: 2D materials; In2Se3; ferroelectric; semiconductor; switchable diode.