Van der Waals heterostructures and devices
Yuan Liu, Nathan O Weiss, Xidong Duan, Hung-Chieh Cheng, Yu Huang, Xiangfeng Duan
Nat. Rev. Mater. 1, 16042 (2016)
Two-dimensional layered materials (2DLMs) have been a central focus of materials research since the discovery of graphene just over a decade ago. Each layer in 2DLMs consists of a covalently bonded, dangling-bond-free lattice and is weakly bound to neighbouring layers by van der Waals interactions. This makes it feasible to isolate, mix and match highly disparate atomic layers to create a wide range of van der Waals heterostructures (vdWHs) without the constraints of lattice matching and processing compatibility. Exploiting the novel properties in these vdWHs with diverse layering of metals, semiconductors or insulators, new designs of electronic devices emerge, including tunnelling transistors, barristors and flexible electronics, as well as optoelectronic devices, including photodetectors, photovoltaics and light-emitting devices with unprecedented characteristics or unique functionalities. We review the recent progress and challenges, and offer our perspective on the exploration of 2DLM-based vdWHs for future application in electronics and optoelectronics.