Strain-mediated type-I/type-II transition in MXene/Blue phosphorene van der Waals heterostructures for flexible optical/electronic devices†
Development of novel van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures from various two-dimensional (2D) materials shows unprecedented possibilities by combining the advantageous properties of their building layers. In particular, transforming the vdW heterostructures from type-I to type-II is of great interest and importance to achieve efficient charge separation in photocatalytic, photovoltaic, and optoelectronic devices. In this work, by means of ab initio calculations, we have systematically investigated the electronic structures, optical properties, and mechanical properties of MXene/Blue Phosphorene (BlueP) vdW heterostructures under various deformations. We highlight that, under strain, the type-I heterostructures can be transformed to type-II with their conduction band minimum (CBM) and valence band maximum (VBM) separated in different layers. Interestingly, the locations of the CBM or VBM in MXene/BlueP vdW heterostructures can also be reversed by compressive or tensile strain between the building layers, which indicates that either layer can be utilized as an electron donor or acceptor by varying its deformation conditions. Meanwhile, this compressive (tensile) strain can also induce a red (blue) shift in the optical absorption spectra of MXene/BlueP vdW heterostructures. Finally, our results on the mechanical flexibility and deformation mechanism of MXene/BlueP vdW heterostructures suggest their great long-term stability as well as promising applications in flexible devices. We believe that our findings will open a new way for the modulation and development of vdW heterostructures in flexible optical/electronic devices.