Strain-engineered diffusive atomic switching in two-dimensional crystals
Author(s)Kalikka, Janne; Zhou, Xilin; Dilcher, Eric; Wall, Simon; Li, Ju; Simpson, Robert E.; ... Show more Show less
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Strain engineering is an emerging route for tuning the bandgap, carrier mobility, chemical reactivity and diffusivity of materials. Here we show how strain can be used to control atomic diffusion in van der Waals heterostructures of two-dimensional (2D) crystals. We use strain to increase the diffusivity of Ge and Te atoms that are confined to 5 Å thick 2D planes within an Sb[subscript 2]Te[subscript 3]–GeTe van der Waals superlattice. The number of quintuple Sb[subscript 2]Te[subscript 3] 2D crystal layers dictates the strain in the GeTe layers and consequently its diffusive atomic disordering. By identifying four critical rules for the superlattice configuration we lay the foundation for a generalizable approach to the design of switchable van der Waals heterostructures. As Sb[subscript 2]Te[subscript 3]–GeTe is a topological insulator, we envision these rules enabling methods to control spin and topological properties of materials in reversible and energy efficient ways.
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering
Nature Publishing Group
Kalikka, Janne et al. “Strain-Engineered Diffusive Atomic Switching in Two-Dimensional Crystals.” Nature Communications 7 (2016): 11983. © 2016 Macmillan Publishers Limited
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