Optical control of polarization in ferroelectric heterostructures

Tao Li, Alexey Lipatov, Haidong Lu, Hyungwoo Lee, Jung Woo Lee, Engin Torun, Ludger Wirtz, Chang Beom Eom, Jorge Íñiguez, Alexander Sinitskii, Alexei Gruverman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


In the ferroelectric devices, polarization control is usually accomplished by application of an electric field. In this paper, we demonstrate optically induced polarization switching in BaTiO3-based ferroelectric heterostructures utilizing a two-dimensional narrow-gap semiconductor MoS2 as a top electrode. This effect is attributed to the redistribution of the photo-generated carriers and screening charges at the MoS2/BaTiO3 interface. Specifically, a two-step process, which involves formation of intra-layer excitons during light absorption followed by their decay into inter-layer excitons, results in the positive charge accumulation at the interface forcing the polarization reversal from the upward to the downward direction. Theoretical modeling of the MoS2 optical absorption spectra with and without the applied electric field provides quantitative support for the proposed mechanism. It is suggested that the discovered effect is of general nature and should be observable in any heterostructure comprising a ferroelectric and a narrow gap semiconductor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number3344
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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