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Ying Wang1 Jun Xiao1 Hanyu Zhu1 Yao Li2 Yao Zhou2 Siqi Wang1 Wu Shi1 Alex Zettl1 Evan Reed2 Xiang Zhang1

1, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, California, United States
2, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States

Monolayers of transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDs) exhibit numerous crystal phases with distinct structures, symmetries and physical properties. Exploring the physics of transitions between these different structural phases in two dimensions may provide a means of switching material properties, with implications for potential applications. Structural phase transitions in TMDs have so far been induced by thermal or chemical means; purely electrostatic control over crystal phases through electrostatic doping was recently proposed as a theoretical possibility, but has not yet been realized. Here we report the experimental demonstration of an electrostatic-doping-driven phase transition between the hexagonal and monoclinic phases of monolayer molybdenum ditelluride (MoTe2). And such phase transition shows a hysteretic loop in Raman spectra, and can be reversed by increasing or decreasing the gate voltage. By combining second-harmonic generation spectroscopy with polarization-resolved Raman spectroscopy, it shows that the induced monoclinic phase preserves the crystal orientation of the original hexagonal phase. This electrostatic-doping control of structural phase transition opens up new possibilities for developing phase-change devices based on atomically thin membranes.

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