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Microscopic Manipulation of Ferroelectric Domains in SnSe Monolayers at Room Temperature

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journal contribution
posted on 24.08.2020, 11:33 by Kai Chang, Felix Küster, Brandon J. Miller, Jing-Rong Ji, Jia-Lu Zhang, Paolo Sessi, Salvador Barraza-Lopez, Stuart S. P. Parkin
Two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals ferroelectrics provide an unprecedented architectural freedom for the creation of artificial multiferroics and nonvolatile electronic devices based on vertical and coplanar heterojunctions of 2D ferroic materials. Nevertheless, controlled microscopic manipulation of ferroelectric domains is still rare in monolayer-thick 2D ferroelectrics with in-plane polarization. Here we report the discovery of robust ferroelectricity with a critical temperature close to 400 K in SnSe monolayer plates grown on graphene and the demonstration of controlled room-temperature ferroelectric domain manipulation by applying appropriate bias voltage pulses to the tip of a scanning tunneling microscope (STM). This study shows that STM is a powerful tool for detecting and manipulating the microscopic domain structures in 2D ferroelectric monolayers, which are difficult for conventional approaches such as piezoresponse force microscopy, thus facilitating the hunt for other 2D ferroelectric monolayers with in-plane polarization with important technological applications.