Giant bulk piezophotovoltaic effect in 3R-MoS2



Yu Dong, Ming-Min Yang, Mao Yoshii, Satoshi Matsuoka, Sota Kitamura, Tatsuo Haswgawa, Naoki Ogawa, Takahiro Morimoto, Toshiya Ideue, Yoshihiro Iwasa

Given its innate coupling with wavefunction geometry in solids and its potential to boost the solar energy conversion efficiency, the bulk photovoltaic effect (BPVE) has been of considerable interest in the past decade
1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14. Initially discovered and developed in ferroelectric oxide materials2, the BPVE has now been explored in a wide range of emerging materials, such as Weyl semimetals9,10, van der Waals nanomaterials11,12,14, oxide superlattices15, halide perovskites16, organics17, bulk Rashba semiconductors18 and others. However, a feasible experimental approach to optimize the photovoltaic performance is lacking. Here we show that strain-induced polarization can significantly enhance the BPVE in non-centrosymmetric rhombohedral-type MoS2 multilayer flakes (that is, 3R-MoS2). This polarization-enhanced BPVE, termed the piezophotovoltaic effect, exhibits distinctive crystallographic orientation dependence, in that the enhancement mainly manifests in the armchair direction of the 3R-MoS2 lattice while remaining largely intact in the zigzag direction. Moreover, the photocurrent increases by over two orders of magnitude when an in-plane tensile strain of ~0.2% is applied, rivalling that of state-of-the-art materials. This work unravels the potential of strain engineering in boosting the photovoltaic performance, which could potentially promote the exploration of novel photoelectric processes in strained two-dimensional layered materials and their van der Waals heterostructures.



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