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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Ultrasensitive tunability of the direct bandgap of 2D InSe flakes via strain engineering

  • Author(s): Li, Y
  • Wang, T
  • Wu, M
  • Cao, T
  • Chen, Y
  • Sankar, R
  • Ulaganathan, RK
  • Chou, F
  • Wetzel, C
  • Xu, CY
  • Louie, SG
  • Shi, SF
  • et al.

© 2018 IOP Publishing Ltd. InSe, a member of the layered materials family, is a superior electronic and optical material which retains a direct bandgap feature from the bulk to atomically thin few-layers and high electronic mobility down to a single layer limit. We, for the first time, exploit strain to drastically modify the bandgap of two-dimensional (2D) InSe nanoflakes. We demonstrated that we could decrease the bandgap of a few-layer InSe flake by 160 meV through applying an in-plane uniaxial tensile strain to 1.06% and increase the bandgap by 79 meV through applying an in-plane uniaxial compressive strain to 0.62%, as evidenced by photoluminescence (PL) spectroscopy. The large reversible bandgap change of ∼239 meV arises from a large bandgap change rate (bandgap strain coefficient) of few-layer InSe in response to strain, ∼154 meV/% for uniaxial tensile strain and ∼140 meV/% for uniaxial compressive strain, representing the most pronounced uniaxial strain-induced bandgap strain coefficient experimentally reported in 2D materials. We developed a theoretical understanding of the strain-induced bandgap change through first-principles DFT and GW calculations. We also confirmed the bandgap change by photoconductivity measurements using excitation light with different photon energies. The highly tunable bandgap of InSe in the infrared regime should enable a wide range of applications, including electro-mechanical, piezoelectric and optoelectronic devices.

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