Switchable Photoresponse Mechanisms Implemented in Single van der Waals Semiconductor/Metal Heterostructure

Mingde Du*, Xiaoqi Cui, Hoon Hahn Yoon, Susobhan Das, Md Uddin, Luojun Du, Diao Li, Zhipei Sun*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)
103 Downloads (Pure)


van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures based on two-dimensional (2D) semiconducting materials have been extensively studied for functional applications, and most of the reported devices work with sole mechanism. The emerging metallic 2D materials provide us new options for building functional vdW heterostructures via rational band engineering design. Here, we investigate the vdW semiconductor/metal heterostructure built with 2D semiconducting InSe and metallic 1T-phase NbTe2, whose electron affinity χInSe and work function ΦNbTe2 almost exactly align. Electrical characterization verifies exceptional diode-like rectification ratio of >103 for the InSe/NbTe2 heterostructure device. Further photocurrent mappings reveal the switchable photoresponse mechanisms of this heterostructure or, in other words, the alternative roles that metallic NbTe2 plays. Specifically, this heterostructure device works in a photovoltaic manner under reverse bias, whereas it turns to phototransistor with InSe channel and NbTe2 electrode under high forward bias. The switchable photoresponse mechanisms originate from the band alignment at the interface, where the band bending could be readily adjusted by the bias voltage. In addition, a conceptual optoelectronic logic gate is proposed based on the exclusive working mechanisms. Finally, the photodetection performance of this heterostructure is represented by an ultrahigh responsivity of ∼84 A/W to 532 nm laser. Our results demonstrate the valuable application of 2D metals in functional devices, as well as the potential of implementing photovoltaic device and phototransistor with single vdW heterostructure.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)568-576
JournalACS Nano
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 25 Jan 2022
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article-refereed


  • van der Waals heterostructure
  • InSe
  • NbTe2
  • two-dimensional metallic materials
  • photodetection
  • optical logic gate


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