Date of this Version
npj Computational Materials (2023) 9:6 ; https://doi.org/10.1038/s41524-022-00953-x
Ferroelectric tunnel junctions (FTJs) have great potential for application in high-density non-volatile memories. Recently, α-In2Se3 was found to exhibit robust in-plane and out-of-plane ferroelectric polarizations at a monolayer thickness, which is ideal to serve as a ferroelectric component in miniaturized electronic devices. In this work, we design two-dimensional van der Waals heterostructures composed of an α-In2Se3 ferroelectric and a hexagonal IV–VI semiconductor and propose an in-plane FTJ based on these heterostructures. Our first-principles calculations show that the electronic band structure of the designed heterostructures can be switched between insulating and metallic states by ferroelectric polarization. We demonstrate that the in-plane FTJ exhibits two distinct transport regimes, tunneling and metallic, for OFF and ON states, respectively, leading to a giant tunneling electroresistance effect with the OFF/ON resistance ratio exceeding 1 × 104. Our results provide a promising approach for the highdensity ferroelectric memory based on the 2D ferroelectric/semiconductor heterostructures.