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Colloquium: Physical properties of group-IV monochalcogenide monolayers
Reviews of Modern Physics  (IF50.485),  Pub Date : 2021-03-10, DOI: 10.1103/revmodphys.93.011001
Salvador Barraza-Lopez, Benjamin M. Fregoso, John W. Villanova, Stuart S. P. Parkin, Kai Chang

The state-of-the-art knowledge of ferroelectric and ferroelastic group-IV monochalcogenide monolayers is surveyed. These semiconductors feature remarkable structural and mechanical properties, such as a switchable in-plane spontaneous polarization, soft elastic constants, structural degeneracies, and thermally driven two-dimensional structural transformations. Additionally, these 2D materials display selective valley excitations, valley Hall effects, and persistent spin helix behavior. After a description of their Raman spectra, a discussion of optical properties arising from their lack of centrosymmetry (such as an unusually strong second-harmonic intensity, large bulk photovoltaic effects, photostriction, and tunable exciton binding energies) is provided as well. The physical properties observed in these materials originate from (correlate with) their intrinsic and switchable electric polarization, and the physical behavior hereby reviewed could be of use in nonvolatile memory, valleytronic, spintronic, and optoelectronic devices: these 2D multiferroics enrich and diversify the 2D material toolbox.