Theoretical investigation of nonvolatile electrical control behavior by ferroelectric polarization switching in two-dimensional MnCl3/CuInP2S6 van der Waals heterostructures†
Exploring two-dimensional materials with both ferromagnetic and ferroelectric properties is scientifically interesting and of great technical importance to magnetoelectric nanodevices, which may overcome the volatility in traditional electrical control approaches. In this work, using first-principles calculations, we design a multiferroic van der Waals heterostructure by combining the Dirac half-metal MnCl3 and ferroelectric monolayer CuInP2S6. Through the short-term voltage stimulation provided by an external electric field, we can switch the polarized state of the CuInP2S6 layer to achieve nonvolatile electrical control behavior in the Dirac half-metal MnCl3. When MnCl3 is combined with CuInP2S6 in the P↑ state, the Dirac cones of the spin-up channel are destroyed due to the interfacial charge transfer, but the half-metal characteristic is preserved. By contrast, MnCl3 transforms into a magnetic semiconductor upon contact with CuInP2S6 in the P↓ state. More importantly, this transformation process does not depend on complex external mechanisms, and nonvolatile control can be achieved only through the intrinsic properties, which is related to the broken spatial inversion symmetry of ferroelectricity. Therefore, nonvolatile modulation of the electronic properties in the Dirac half-metal MnCl3 can be achieved through magnetoelectric coupling with a ferroelectric CuInP2S6 layer, suggesting a promising platform for exploring high efficiency nanodevices and nonvolatile storage.