UCL logo

UCL Discovery

UCL home » Library Services » Electronic resources » UCL Discovery

Electric polarisation switching in an atomically-thin binary rock salt structure

Martinez Castro, J; Piantek, M; Schubert, S; Persson, M; Serrate, D; Hirjibehedin, CF; (2018) Electric polarisation switching in an atomically-thin binary rock salt structure. Nature Nanotechnology , 13 (1) pp. 19-23. 10.1038/s41565-017-0001-2. Green open access

[img]
Preview
Text
Matrinez-Castro.pdf - ["content_typename_Accepted version" not defined]

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

Inducing and controlling electric dipoles is hindered in the ultrathin limit by the finite screening length of surface charges at metal–insulator junctions, although this effect can be circumvented by specially designed interfaces. Heterostructures of insulating materials hold great promise, as confirmed by perovskite oxide superlattices with compositional substitution to artificially break the structural inversion symmetry. Bringing this concept to the ultrathin limit would substantially broaden the range of materials and functionalities that could be exploited in novel nanoscale device designs. Here, we report that non-zero electric polarization can be induced and reversed in a hysteretic manner in bilayers made of ultrathin insulators whose electric polarization cannot be switched individually. In particular, we explore the interface between ionic rock salt alkali halides such as NaCl or KBr and polar insulating Cu2N terminating bulk copper. The strong compositional asymmetry between the polar Cu2N and the vacuum gap breaks inversion symmetry in the alkali halide layer, inducing out-of-plane dipoles that are stabilized in one orientation (self-poling). The dipole orientation can be reversed by a critical electric field, producing sharp switching of the tunnel current passing through the junction.

Type: Article
Title: Electric polarisation switching in an atomically-thin binary rock salt structure
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1038/s41565-017-0001-2
Publisher version: http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41565-017-0001-2
Language: English
Additional information: This version is the author accepted manuscript. For information on re-use, please refer to the publisher’s terms and conditions.
Keywords: Electronic properties and materials, Ferroelectrics and multiferroics, Information storage, Surfaces, interfaces and thin films, Two-dimensional materials
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Maths and Physical Sciences > London Centre for Nanotechnology
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1573662
Downloads since deposit
21Downloads
Download activity - last month
Download activity - last 12 months
Downloads by country - last 12 months

Archive Staff Only

View Item View Item