Black phosphorus and its isoelectronic materials


The family of 2D and layered materials has been expanding rapidly for more than a decade. Within this large family of hundreds of materials, black phosphorus and its isoelectronic group IV monochalcogenides have a unique place. These puckered materials have distinctive crystalline symmetries and exhibit various exciting properties, such as high carrier mobility , strong infrared responsivity , widely tunable bandgap, in-plane anisotropy and spontaneous electric polarization. Here, we review their basic properties, highlight new electronic and photonic device concepts and novel physical phenomena and discuss future directions.

Key Points:

  • The crystalline symmetries of layered black phosphorus and its isoelectronic group IV monochalcogenides play a very important role in the determination of their physical properties.
  • Black phosphorus is likely to be the layered semiconductor material with the highest carrier mobility at room temperature, making it promising for high-performance electronic applications.
  • Black phosphorus, arsenic phosphorus and other group V alloys may find applications in mid-infrared photonics as alternative material systems owing to their layered nature and moderate bandgap.
  • Monolayer group IV monochalcogenides have a broken inversion symmetry and spontaneous in-plane electric polarization. They present a great platform for the exploration of piezoelectricity, ferroelectricity, ferroelasticity and multiferroics.
  • In black phosphorus and other group V alloys, the interplay between the crystal symmetry and spin–orbit coupling may lead to the realization of rich topological states.
  • Wafer-scale synthesis of this group of materials remains challenging. Future research may leverage the phase transition induced by pressure, temperature or high-intensity light.

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