Ferroelectricity in 2D metal phosphorus trichalcogenides and van der Waals heterostructures for photocatalytic water splitting†
Integration of ferroelectricity into van der Waals heterostructures offers additional opportunities to control over the properties and functionalities of heterostructures by switching the direction of polarization via an external electric field. To discover potential ferroelectric monolayers that exhibit out-of-plane electric polarizations, we screen a family of metal phosphorus trichalcogenides M1M2P2X6 with M1 = Cu/Ag, M2 = In/Bi, X = S/Se using density functional theory calculations. We predict room-temperature ferroelectricity in CuInP2S6 and CuBiP2S6 monolayers with out-of-plane polarizations (Ps) of 0.59 μC cm−2 and 0.35 μC cm−2, respectively. The strong metal-chalcogenide M1–X bond in the two Cu and S-based systems is responsible for their high phase transition temperatures. The polarizations in ferroelectric monolayers can persist in van der Waals heterostructures, and band gaps as well as band alignment of the heterostructures can be tuned by switching the polarization direction. Finally, we demonstrate that both visible light absorption and type-II band alignment facilitating fast charge separation can be realized in CuInP2S6/Mn2P2S6 and CuInP2S6/Zn2P2Se6 ferroelectric heterostructures, which are promising for applications in photocatalytic water splitting.
- This article is part of the themed collection: Journal of Materials Chemistry A HOT Papers