Mechanically Tunable Spontaneous Vertical Charge Redistribution in Few-Layer WTe2

Zeyuan Ni*, Emi Minamitani, Kazuaki Kawahara, Ryuichi Arafune, Chun-Liang Lin, Noriaki Takagi, Satoshi Watanabe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Broken symmetry is often the essence of exotic properties in condensed matters. WTe2 exceptionally takes a non-centrosymmetric crystal structure in the family of transition-metal dichalcogenides and exhibits novel properties, such as the nonsaturating magnetoresistance and ferroelectric-like behavior. Herein, using the first-principles calculation, we show that unique layer stacking in WTe2 generates surface dipoles in few-layer WTe2. The surface dipoles are tunable and switchable using the interlayer shear displacement. This could explain the ferroelectric-like behavior recently observed in atomically thin WTe2 films. In addition, we reveal that exfoliation of the surface layer flips the out-of-plane spin textures. The presented results will aid in the deeper understanding, manipulation, and further exploration of the physical properties of WTe2 and related atom-layered materials for applications in electronics and spintronic devices.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2008-2012
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Physical Chemistry C
Issue number3
StatePublished - 23 Jan 2020


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