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Ferroelectric switching of a two-dimensional metal

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      Abstract

      A ferroelectric is a material with a polar structure whose polarity can be reversed by applying an electric field. In metals, the itinerant electrons tend to screen electrostatic forces between ions, helping to explain why polar metals are very rare. Screening also excludes external electric fields, apparently ruling out the possibility of polarity reversal and thus ferroelectric switching. In principle, however, a thin enough polar metal could be penetrated by an electric field sufficiently to be switched. Here we show that the layered topological semimetal WTe2 provides the first embodiment of this principle. Although monolayer WTe2 is centrosymmetric and thus nonpolar, the stacked bulk structure is polar. We find that two- or three-layer WTe2 exhibits a spontaneous out-of-plane electric polarization which can be switched using gate electrodes. We directly detect and quantify the polarization using graphene as an electric field sensor. Moreover, the polarization states can be differentiated by conductivity, and the carrier density can be varied to modify the properties. The critical temperature is above 350 K, and even when WTe2 is sandwiched in graphene it retains its switching capability at room temperature, demonstrating a robustness suitable for applications in combination with other two-dimensional materials.

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      Two-Dimensional Gas of Massless Dirac Fermions in Graphene

      Electronic properties of materials are commonly described by quasiparticles that behave as non-relativistic electrons with a finite mass and obey the Schroedinger equation. Here we report a condensed matter system where electron transport is essentially governed by the Dirac equation and charge carriers mimic relativistic particles with zero mass and an effective "speed of light" c* ~10^6m/s. Our studies of graphene - a single atomic layer of carbon - have revealed a variety of unusual phenomena characteristic of two-dimensional (2D) Dirac fermions. In particular, we have observed that a) the integer quantum Hall effect in graphene is anomalous in that it occurs at half-integer filling factors; b) graphene's conductivity never falls below a minimum value corresponding to the conductance quantum e^2/h, even when carrier concentrations tend to zero; c) the cyclotron mass m of massless carriers with energy E in graphene is described by equation E =mc*^2; and d) Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations in graphene exhibit a phase shift of pi due to Berry's phase.
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        Experimental Observation of Quantum Hall Effect and Berry's Phase in Graphene

        When electrons are confined in two-dimensional (2D) materials, quantum mechanically enhanced transport phenomena, as exemplified by the quantum Hall effects (QHE), can be observed. Graphene, an isolated single atomic layer of graphite, is an ideal realization of such a 2D system. Here, we report an experimental investigation of magneto transport in a high mobility single layer of graphene. Adjusting the chemical potential using the electric field effect, we observe an unusual half integer QHE for both electron and hole carriers in graphene. Vanishing effective carrier masses is observed at Dirac point in the temperature dependent Shubnikov de Haas oscillations, which probe the 'relativistic' Dirac particle-like dispersion. The relevance of Berry's phase to these experiments is confirmed by the phase shift of magneto-oscillations, related to the exceptional topology of the graphene band structure.
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          Atomically thin MoS2: A new direct-gap semiconductor

          The electronic properties of ultrathin crystals of molybdenum disulfide consisting of N = 1, 2, ... 6 S-Mo-S monolayers have been investigated by optical spectroscopy. Through characterization by absorption, photoluminescence, and photoconductivity spectroscopy, we trace the effect of quantum confinement on the material's electronic structure. With decreasing thickness, the indirect band gap, which lies below the direct gap in the bulk material, shifts upwards in energy by more than 0.6 eV. This leads to a crossover to a direct-gap material in the limit of the single monolayer. Unlike the bulk material, the MoS2 monolayer emits light strongly. The freestanding monolayer exhibits an increase in luminescence quantum efficiency by more than a factor of 1000 compared with the bulk material.
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            Author and article information

            Journal
            12 September 2018
            1809.04575

            http://arxiv.org/licenses/nonexclusive-distrib/1.0/

            Custom metadata
            cond-mat.mtrl-sci cond-mat.mes-hall

            Condensed matter, Nanophysics

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