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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Widely tunable band gap in a multivalley semiconductor SnSe by potassium doping

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SnSe, a group IV-VI monochalcogenide with layered crystal structure similar to black phosphorus, has recently attracted extensive interest due to its excellent thermoelectric properties and potential device applications. Experimental electronic structure of both the valence and conduction bands is critical for understanding the effects of hole versus electron doping on the thermoelectric properties, and to further reveal possible change of the band gap upon doping. Here, we report the multivalley valence bands with a large effective mass on semiconducting SnSe crystals and reveal single-valley conduction bands through electron doping to provide a complete picture of the thermoelectric physics. Moreover, by electron doping through potassium deposition, the band gap of SnSe can be widely tuned from 1.2 eV to 0.4 eV, providing new opportunities for tunable electronic and optoelectronic devices.

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