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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 24, 2023
  2. α-RuCl3 is a layered transition metal halide that possesses a range of exotic magnetic, optical, and electronic properties including fractional excitations indicative of a proximate Kitaev quantum spin liquid (QSL). While previous reports have explored these properties on idealized single crystals or mechanically exfoliated samples, the scalable production of α-RuCl3 nanosheets has not yet been demonstrated. Here, we perform liquid-phase exfoliation (LPE) of α-RuCl3 through an electrochemically assisted approach, which yields ultrathin, electron-doped α-RuCl3 nanosheets that are then assembled into electrically conductive large-area thin films. The crystalline integrity of the α-RuCl3 nanosheets following LPE is confirmed through a wide range of structural and chemical analyses. Moreover, the physical properties of the LPE α-RuCl3 nanosheets are investigated through electrical, optical, and magnetic characterization methods, which reveal a structural phase transition at 230 K that is consistent with the onset of Kitaev paramagnetism in addition to an antiferromagnetic transition at 2.6 K. Intercalated ions from the electrochemical LPE protocol favorably alter the optical response of the α-RuCl3 nanosheets, enabling large-area Mott insulator photodetectors that operate at telecommunications-relevant infrared wavelengths near 1.55 μm. These photodetectors show a linear photocurrent response as a function of incident power, which suggests negligible trap-mediated recombination or photothermalmore »effects, ultimately resulting in a photoresponsivity of ≈2 mA/W.« less
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 17, 2023