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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Dimensionality-Mediated Semimetal-Semiconductor Transition in Ultrathin PtTe_{2} Films.


Platinum ditelluride (PtTe_{2}), a type-II Dirac semimetal, remains semimetallic in ultrathin films down to just two triatomic layers (TLs) with a negative gap of -0.36  eV. Further reduction of the film thickness to a single TL induces a Lifshitz electronic transition to a semiconductor with a large positive gap of +0.79  eV. This transition is evidenced by experimental band structure mapping of films prepared by layer-resolved molecular beam epitaxy, and by comparing the data to first-principles calculations using a hybrid functional. The results demonstrate a novel electronic transition at the two-dimensional limit through film thickness control.

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