Abstract: Single layer (SL) two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDs), such as MoS2, ReS2, WSe2, and MoTe2 have now become the focus of intensive fundamental and applied research due to their intriguing and tunable physical properties. These materials exhibit a broad range of structural phases that can be induced via elastic strain, chemical doping, and electrostatic field effect. These transformations, in turn, can open and close the band gap of SL-TMDs, leading to metal-insulator transitions, and lead to emergence of more complex quantum phenomena. These considerations necessitate detailed understanding of the mesoscopic mechanisms of these structural phase transitions. Here we develop a Landau-type thermodynamic description of SL-TMDs on a sample of the SL(MoS2)1x(ReS2)x system and analyze the free energy surfaces, phase diagrams, and order parameter behavior. Our results predict the existence of multiple structural phases with two-, six- and 12-fold degenerated energy minima for in-plane and out-of-plane order parameters. This analysis suggests that out-of-plane ferroelectricity can exist in many of these phases, with the switchable polarization being proportional to the out-of-plane order parameter. We further predict that the domain walls in SL(MoS2)1x(ReS2)x should become conductive above a certain strain threshold.


Title: Phase diagrams of single-layer two-dimensional transition metal dichalcogenides: Landau theory

Authors: Anna N. Morozovska, Eugene A. Eliseev, Kevin D. Stubbs, Rama Vasudevan, Yunseok Kim, and Sergei V. Kalinin

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevB.101.195424  Physical Review B (2020) 101, 195424

Preprint deposited in the repository: http://arxiv.org/abs/1911.00684