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Work Function Engineering of 2D Materials: The Role of Polar Edge Reconstructions

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journal contribution
posted on 02.03.2021, 22:04 by Guoxiang Hu, Victor Fung, Jingsong Huang, P. Ganesh
2D materials have attracted tremendous interest as functional materials because of their diverse and tunable properties, especially at their edges. A material’s work function is a critical parameter in many electronic devices; however, a fundamental understanding and a path toward large alterations of the work function in 2D materials still remain elusive. Here, we report the first evidence for anisotropy of the work function in 2D MoS2 from first-principles calculations. We also demonstrate large work-function tunability (in the range of 3.45–6.29 eV) choosing the 2H phase of MoS2 as a model system by sampling various edge configurations. We furthermore reveal the origin of this work function anisotropy and tunability by extending the existing work function relation to the local dipole moment at surfaces of 3D materials to those at edges in 2D materials. We then use machine-learning approaches to correlate work function with edge structures. These results pave the way for intrinsic edge engineering for electronic and catalytic applications.