Programmable transition metal dichalcogenide homojunctions controlled by nonvolatile ferroelectric domains


Semiconductor devices based on two-dimensional (2D) transition metal dichalcogenides could help overcome the scaling limits of silicon complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) technology. However, the development of atomically thin devices requires approaches to control the carrier type in 2D semiconductors. Here, we show that a scanning probe can be used to control the polarization of ferroelectric polymers deposited on 2D transition metal dichalcogenides in order to define carrier injection and achieve p-type and n-type doping. The approach allows lateral p–n, n–p, n–n and p–p homojunctions to be arbitrarily formed and altered. Molybdenum ditelluride (MoTe2) p–n homojunction devices constructed using this method exhibit high current rectification ratios of 103 and good optoelectronic properties (responsivity of 1.5 A W−1). Unconventional nonvolatile memory devices are also built, such as an electrical writing and optical reading memory device, without the restrictions of physical source, drain or gate electrodes, and a quasi-nonvolatile memory with a refresh time of 100 s and a write/erase speed of 10 µs.

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Fig. 1: Spatially defined doping in MoTe2 using a piezoresponse force microscope-controlled ferroelectric field.
Fig. 2: PL properties of the bilayer MoTe2 tuned using the ferroelectric field at 6 K.
Fig. 3: Ferroelectric field-controlled MoTe2 p–n homojunctions.
Fig. 4: Photoresponse of the p–n junction and devices with other domain patterns.
Fig. 5: An electrical writing and optical reading memory array achieved with the arbitrary domain pattern method.
Fig. 6: Electrical properties of the p–n junction assisted QNV memory.

Data availability

Source data for the graphs that appear in Figs. 26 and Supplementary Figs. 18, 12, 15 and 1720 are available in the Supplementary Information. All other relevant data are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.


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This work was partially supported by the Major State Basic Research Development Program (grants 2016YFA0203900, 2016YFB0400801 and 2015CB921600) and the Key Research Project of Frontier Sciences of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grants QYZDB-SSW-JSC016 and QYZDY-SSW-JSC042). We also acknowledge funding from the Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grants XDPB12 and XDB 3000000), the Natural Science Foundation of China (grants 61521001, 61574151, 61574152, 61674158, 61722408, 61734003, 61804055, 61851402 and 61835012), the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (grants 16ZR1447600, 17JC1400302 and 17YF1404200), and Opened Fund of the State Key Laboratory of Integrated Optoelectronics No. IOSKL2017KF17.

Author information




J.W. conceived and supervised the research. G.W., Xudong Wang, Y.C. and J.W. fabricated the devices. B.T., W.L., G.W. and Xinran Wang performed the PFM measurements. G.W., Z.W., L.L., J.L., Shuaiqin Wu and Y.C. performed the electrical measurements and Shuang Wu and Shiwei Wu performed the PL properties at low temperature. G.W., W.L. and Xinran Wang obtained the PL images. Z.W., G.W., Y.C. and W.H. performed the optical characterizations. L.L., J.L. and P.Z. were responsible for the experiments with QNV memory devices. P.Z., Xinran Wang, Shiwei Wu, Q.L., W.H. and J.W. advised on the experiments and data analysis. G.W., B.T. and J.W. co-wrote the paper. All authors discussed the results and revised the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Peng Zhou or Jianlu Wang.

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Supplementary information

Supplementary Information

Supplementary Figs. 1–20, Notes 1–2 and Table 1.

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Wu, G., Tian, B., Liu, L. et al. Programmable transition metal dichalcogenide homojunctions controlled by nonvolatile ferroelectric domains. Nat Electron 3, 43–50 (2020).

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