Computational Discovery of Two-Dimensional Rare-Earth Iodides: Promising Ferrovalley Materials for Valleytronics: arXiv:2206.14626 [cond-mat.mtrl-sci]

Abhishek Sharan, Stephan Lany, Nirpendra Singh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Two-dimensional Ferrovalley materials with intrinsic valley polarization are rare but highly promising for valley-based nonvolatile random access memory and valley filter. Using Kinetically Limited Minimization (KLM), an unconstrained crystal structure prediction algorithm, and prototype sampling based on first-principles calculations, we have discovered 17 new Ferrovalley materials (rare-earth iodides RI2, where R is a rare-earth element belonging to Sc, Y, or La-Lu, and I is Iodine). The rare-earth iodides are layered and demonstrate 2H, 1T, or 1Td phase as the ground-state in bulk, analogous to transition metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs). The calculated exfoliation energy of monolayers is comparable to that of graphene and TMDCs, suggesting possible experimental synthesis. The monolayers in the 2H phase exhibit two-dimensional ferromagnetism due to unpaired electrons in d and f orbitals. Throughout the rare-earth series, d bands show valley polarization at K and K¯ points in the Brillouin zone near the Fermi level. Due to strong magnetic exchange interaction and spin-orbit coupling, large intrinsic valley polarization in the range of 15-143 meV without external stimuli is observed, which can be tuned and enhanced by applying a biaxial strain. These valleys can selectively be probed and manipulated for information storage and processing, potentially offering superior performance beyond conventional electronics and spintronics. We further show that the 2H ferromagnetic phase of RI2 monolayers possesses non-zero Berry curvature and exhibits the valley Hall effect with considerable anomalous Hall conductivity. Our work will incite exploratory synthesis of the predicted Ferrovalley materials and their application in valleytronics and beyond.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages11
StatePublished - 2022

Bibliographical note

See NREL/JA-5K00-85182 for paper as published in the journal 2D Materials

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/JA-5K00-83386


  • 2D materials
  • materials discovery
  • valleytronics


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