skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2023

Title: Two-dimensional charge order stabilized in clean polytype heterostructures
Abstract Compelling evidence suggests distinct correlated electron behavior may exist only in clean 2D materials such as 1T-TaS 2 . Unfortunately, experiment and theory suggest that extrinsic disorder in free standing 2D layers disrupts correlation-driven quantum behavior. Here we demonstrate a route to realizing fragile 2D quantum states through endotaxial polytype engineering of van der Waals materials. The true isolation of 2D charge density waves (CDWs) between metallic layers stabilizes commensurate long-range order and lifts the coupling between neighboring CDW layers to restore mirror symmetries via interlayer CDW twinning. The twinned-commensurate charge density wave (tC-CDW) reported herein has a single metal–insulator phase transition at ~350 K as measured structurally and electronically. Fast in-situ transmission electron microscopy and scanned nanobeam diffraction map the formation of tC-CDWs. This work introduces endotaxial polytype engineering of van der Waals materials to access latent 2D ground states distinct from conventional 2D fabrication.
Authors:
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Award ID(s):
1749774 2039380
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10324028
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Volume:
13
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2041-1723
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. The rare-earth tritellurides (RTe 3 ) are a distinct class of 2D layered materials that recently gained significant attention due to hosting such quantum collective phenomena as superconductivity or charge density waves (CDWs). Many members of this van der Waals (vdW) family crystals exhibit CDW behavior at room temperature, i.e. , RTe 3 compound where R = La, Ce, Pr, Nd, Sm, Gd, and Tb. Here, our systematic studies establish the CDW properties of RTe 3 when the vdW spacing/interaction strength between adjacent RTe 3 layers is engineered under extreme hydrostatic pressures. Using a non-destructive spectroscopy technique, pressure-dependent Raman studies first establish the pressure coefficients of phonon and CDW amplitude modes for a variety of RTe 3 materials, including LaTe 3 , CeTe 3 , PrTe 3 , NdTe 3 , SmTe 3 , GdTe 3 , and TbTe 3 . Results further show that the CDW phase is eventually suppressed at high pressures when the interlayer spacing is reduced and interaction strength is increased. Comparison between different RTe 3 materials shows that LaTe 3 with the largest thermodynamic equilibrium interlayer spacing (smallest chemical pressure) exhibits the most stable CDW phases at high pressures. In contrast, CDW phases in latemore »RTe 3 systems with the largest internal chemical pressures are suppressed easily with applied pressure. Overall results provide comprehensive insights into the CDW response of the entire RTe 3 series under extreme pressures, offering an understanding of CDW formation/engineering in a unique class of vdW RTe 3 material systems.« less
  2. Two-dimensional (2D) materials that exhibit charge density waves (CDWs)—spontaneous reorganization of their electrons into a periodic modulation—have generated many research endeavors in the hopes of employing their exotic properties for various quantum-based technologies. Early investigations surrounding CDWs were mostly focused on bulk materials. However, applications for quantum devices require few-layer materials to fully utilize the emergent phenomena. The CDW field has greatly expanded over the decades, warranting a focus on the computational efforts surrounding them specifically in 2D materials. In this review, we cover ground in the following relevant theory-driven subtopics for TaS2 and TaSe2: summary of general computational techniques and methods, resulting atomic structures, the effect of electron–phonon interaction of the Raman scattering modes, the effects of confinement and dimensionality on the CDW, and we end with a future outlook. Through understanding how the computational methods have enabled incredible advancements in quantum materials, one may anticipate the ever-expanding directions available for continued pursuit as the field brings us through the 21st century.
  3. Engineering the electronic band structure of material systems enables the unprecedented exploration of new physical properties that are absent in natural or as-synthetic materials. Half metallicity, an intriguing physical property arising from the metallic nature of electrons with singular spin polarization and insulating for oppositely polarized electrons, holds a great potential for a 100% spin-polarized current for high-efficiency spintronics. Conventionally synthesized thin films hardly sustain half metallicity inherited from their 3D counterparts. A fundamental challenge, in systems of reduced dimensions, is the almost inevitable spin-mixed edge or surface states in proximity to the Fermi level. Here, we predict electric field-induced half metallicity in bilayer A-type antiferromagnetic van der Waals crystals (i.e., intralayer ferromagnetism and interlayer antiferromagnetism), by employing density functional theory calculations on vanadium diselenide. Electric fields lift energy levels of the constituent layers in opposite directions, leading to the gradual closure of the gap of singular spin-polarized states and the opening of the gap of the others. We show that a vertical electrical field is a generic and effective way to achieve half metallicity in A-type antiferromagnetic bilayers and realize the spin field effect transistor. The electric field-induced half metallicity represents an appealing route to realize 2D half metalsmore »and opens opportunities for nanoscale highly efficient antiferromagnetic spintronics for information processing and storage.« less
  4. Energy transport dynamics in different nanostructures are crucial to both fundamental understanding and practical applications for heat management at the nanoscale. It has been reported that thermal conductivity may be severely impacted by stacking disorder in layered materials. Here, using ultrafast electron diffraction in the reflection geometry for direct probing of structural dynamics, we report a fundamental behavioral difference due to stacking order in an entirely different system—solid-supported methanol assemblies whose layered structures may resemble those of two-dimensional (2D) and van der Waals (vdW) solids but with much weaker in-plane hydrogen bonds. Thermal diffusion is found to be the transport mechanism across 2D-layered films without a cross-plane stacking order. In stark contrast, much faster ballistic energy transport is observed in 3D-ordered crystalline solids. The major change in such dynamical behavior may be associated with the efficiency of vibrational coupling between vdW-interacted methanol layers, which demonstrates a strong structure‒property relation.
  5. We present comprehensive first-principles density functional theory (DFT) analyses of the interfacial strength and bonding mechanisms between crystalline and amorphous selenium (Se) with graphene (Gr), a promising duo for energy storage applications. Comparative interface analyses are presented on amorphous silicon (Si) with graphene and crystalline Se with a conventional aluminum (Al) current collector. The interface strengths of monoclinic Se (0.43 J m–2) and amorphous Si with graphene (0.41 J m–2) are similar in magnitude. While both materials (c-Se, a-Si) are bonded loosely by van der Waals (vdW) forces over graphene, interfacial electron exchange is higher for a-Si/graphene. This is further elaborated by comparing the potential energy step and charge transfer (Δq) across the graphene interfaces. The interface strength of c-Se on a 3D Al current collector is higher (0.99 J m–2), suggesting a stronger adhesion. Amorphous Se with graphene has comparable interface strength (0.34 J m–2), but electron exchange in this system is slightly distinct from monoclinic Se. The electronic characteristics and bonding mechanisms are different for monoclinic and amorphous Se with graphene as they activate graphene via surface charge doping divergently. The implications of these interfacial physicochemical attributes on electrode performance have been discussed. Our findings highlight the complexmore »electrochemical phenomena in Se interfaced with graphene, which may profoundly differ from their “free” counterparts.« less