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Synthesis and emerging properties of 2D layered III–VI metal chalcogenides...

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Applied Physics Reviews
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Atomically thin layered III–VI metal chalcogenides are an emerging class of 2D materials that have attracted increasing attention in recent years due to their remarkable physical properties and technological applications. Thanks to the recently developed theoretical and experimental methods, a number of exciting discoveries for these materials have revealed their new phases, a unique “Mexican hat”-shaped electronic band structure, and superior optical and electronic properties that distinguish them from other 2D materials such as transition metal dichalcogenides. This review summarizes the novel properties, structures, and synthesis strategies for these materials and emphasizes the most cutting-edge and seminal achievements in this rapidly growing field in order to provide input for future research works. We first present the rich crystal structure and phases that have been found in these materials, with an emphasis on the possibility of phase engineering. Then, we discuss the synthesis strategies for 2D layered III–VI metal chalcogenides from the top-down, bottom-up, and template-based chemical conversion approaches. We focus on the highly controlled synthesis methods that provide fine-tuning of the thickness, phase, edge structure, and other morphological characteristics. Third, we discuss the properties and applications of these materials, focusing on their unique electronic structure including the Mexican hat-shaped valence band, their superior nonlinear optical properties, high-performance electronic devices, promising photoelectrochemical properties, and emerging quantum properties such as quantum emission, exciton condensation, ferromagnetism, and topological quantum phase transition. Finally, we provide our perspective on the current challenges and future directions in this field.