Research Papers in Physics and Astronomy


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L. L. TAO AND EVGENY Y. TSYMBAL. PHYSICAL REVIEW B 100, 161110(R) (2019). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.100.161110


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Valleytronics is an emerging field of research which employs energy valleys in the band structure of two-dimensional (2D) electronic materials to encode information. A special interest has been triggered by the associated spin-valley coupling which reveals rich fundamental physics and enables new functionalities. Here, we propose exploiting the spin-valley locking in 2D materials with a large spin-orbit coupling and electric-field reversible valley spin polarization, such as germanene, stanene, a 1T' transition metal dichalcogenide (TMDC) monolayer, and a 2H-TMDC bilayer, to realize a valley spin valve (VSV). The valley spin polarization in these materials can be switched by an external electric field, which enables functionalities of a valley spin polarizer or a valley spin analyzer. When placed in series, they constitute the proposed VSV—a device whose conductance state is ON or OFF depending on the relative valley spin polarization of the polarizer and the analyzer. Using quantum-transport calculations based on an adequate tight-binding model, we predict a giant VSV ratio of nearly 100% for both germanene- and stanene-based VSV devices. Our results demonstrate the implication of the spin-valley coupling in 2D materials for the novel device concept promising for valleytronics.

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