Duan Research Group

Hetero-integrated Nanostructures and Nanodevices


Chiral molecular intercalation superlattices

Qi Qian, Huaying Ren, Jingyuan Zhou, Zhong Wan, Jingxuan Zhou, Xingxu Yan, Jin Cai, Peiqi Wang, Bailing Li, Zdenek Sofer, Bo Li, Xidong Duan, Xiaoqing Pan, Yu Huang, Xiangfeng Duan

Nature 606, 902-908 (2022)

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The discovery of chiral-induced spin selectivity (CISS) opens up the possibility to manipulate spin orientation without external magnetic fields and enables new spintronic device designs1,2,3,4. Although many approaches have been explored for introducing CISS into solid-state materials and devices, the resulting systems so far are often plagued by high inhomogeneity, low spin selectivity or limited stability, and have difficulties in forming robust spintronic devices5,6,7,8. Here we report a new class of chiral molecular intercalation superlattices (CMIS) as a robust solid-state chiral material platform for exploring CISS. The CMIS were prepared by intercalating layered two-dimensional atomic crystals (2DACs) (such as TaS2 and TiS2) with selected chiral molecules (such as R-α-methylbenzylamine and S-α-methylbenzylamine). The X-ray diffraction and transmission electron microscopy studies demonstrate highly ordered superlattice structures with alternating crystalline atomic layers and self-assembled chiral molecular layers. Circular dichroism studies show clear chirality-dependent signals between right-handed (R-) and left-handed (S-) CMIS. Furthermore, by using the resulting CMIS as the spin-filtering layer, we create spin-selective tunnelling junctions with a distinct chirality-dependent tunnelling current, achieving a tunnelling magnetoresistance ratio of more than 300 per cent and a spin polarization ratio of more than 60 per cent. With a large family of 2DACs of widely tunable electronic properties and a vast selection of chiral molecules of designable structural motifs, the CMIS define a rich family of artificial chiral materials for investigating the CISS effect and capturing its potential for new spintronic devices.
UCLA, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry
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E-mail: xduan@chem.ucla.edu