Dissertation: Theoretical Investigations of Two-Dimensional Materials: Studies on Electronic, Magnetic, Mechanical, and Thermal Properties

  • Date:
  • Location: Ångströmlaboratoriet, Lägerhyddsvägen 1 Häggsalen 10132 and Zoom https://uu-se.zoom.us/j/9212663533
  • Doctoral student: Xin Chen
  • Contact person: Xin Chen
  • Disputation

Two-dimensional (2D) materials have been paid enormous attention since the first realization of graphene in 2004, in connection to high-speed flexible electronics, 2D magnetism, optoelectronics, and so on. Apart from graphene, many new 2D materials with special properties have been predicted and synthesized. For the understanding of several interesting phenomena and prediction of new 2D materials, materials-specific density functional theory (DFT) plays a very important role.

In this thesis, based on first-principles calculations, structural, magnetic, electronic, mechanical, and thermal transport properties of two kinds of 2D systems are investigated.

The first kind of 2D materials is based on the synthesized material or the predicted structure with ultralow energy. These materials were functionalized by adsorbing transition metal atoms or oxygen atoms, which makes a significant difference in the properties. A part of the thesis covers the study of the self-assembly process of 3d transition metal hexamers on graphene with different defects. Interestingly, it is found that the easy axis of magnetization can be tuned between in-plane and out-of-plane directions in the presence of an external electric field. The second subsection is the oxygen functionalized form of 2D honeycomb and zigzag dumbbell silicene. Interestingly, both the structures are Dirac semimetal.

The other kind of 2D materials discussed in this thesis are new materials which were never reported before. Starting from a global structure search, we predicted several structures with ultrahigh stability and novel properties. One work is about a new allotrope of graphene, namely PAI-graphene. It is a new structural motif, which is energetically very close to graphene with interesting properties. PAI-graphene is a semimetal with distorted Dirac cones. By applying tensile strain, three different topological phases can be achieved. The second subsection is the work about new 2D structural forms of A2B (A=Cu, Ag, Au, and B=S, Se). Our obtained square-A2B (s-A2B) structures are energetically more favored than all the reported 2D structures for A2B. s-A2B structures are direct bandgap semiconductors with high carrier mobilities. All the s-A2B structures have unusually low lattice thermal conductivities. Moreover, s-A2B monolayers have ultra-low Young’s moduli and in-plane negative Poisson’s ratios. The third work is about the phase transition in s-A2B monolayers. We proposed two new s-A2B structure, s(I)- and s(II)-Au2Te. S(I)-Au2Te is an auxetic direct-gap semiconductor, while s(II)-Au2Te is a topological insulator. By applying strain or using thermal means, we can achieve a structural phase transition between the two phases.