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      Transition-metal dichalcogenide bilayers: switching materials for spin- and valleytronic applications

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          Abstract

          We report that an external electric field applied normal to bilayers of transition-metal dichalcogenides TX2, M = Mo, W, X = S, Se, creates significant spin-orbit splittings and reduces the electronic band gap linearly with the field strength. Contrary to the TX2 monolayers, spin-orbit splittings and valley polarization are absent in bilayers due to the presence of inversion symmetry. This symmetry can be broken by an electric field, and the spin-orbit splittings in the valence band quickly reach similar values as in the monolayers (145 meV for MoS2... 418 meV for WSe2) at saturation fields less than 500 mV A-1. The band gap closure results in a semiconductor-metal transition at field strength between 1.25 (WX2) and 1.50 (MoX2) V A-1. Thus, by using a gate voltage, the spin polarization can be switched on and off in TX2 bilayers, thus activating them for spintronic and valleytronic applications.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          19 June 2014
          Article
          10.1103/PhysRevB.90.125440
          1406.5012

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

          Custom metadata
          Submitted to PRB, 11 pages, 4 figures, 2 tables
          cond-mat.mtrl-sci

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