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Mg(OH)2-WS2 van der Waals heterobilayer: Electric field tunable band-gap crossover
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Magnesium hydroxide [Mg(OH)2] has a layered brucitelike structure in its bulk form and was recently isolated as a new member of two-dimensional monolayer materials. We investigated the electronic and optical properties of monolayer crystals of Mg(OH)2 and WS2 and their possible heterobilayer structure by means of first-principles calculations. It was found that both monolayers of Mg(OH)2 and WS2 are direct-gap semiconductors and these two monolayers form a typical van der Waals heterostructure with a weak interlayer interaction and a type-II band alignment with a staggered gap that spatially separates electrons and holes. We also showed that an out-of-plane electric field induces a transition from a staggered to a straddling-type heterojunction. Moreover, by solving the Bethe-Salpeter equation on top of single-shot G0W0 calculations, we show that the low-energy spectrum of the heterobilayer is dominated by the intralyer excitons of the WS2 monolayer. Because of the staggered interfacial gap and the field-tunable energy-band structure, the Mg(OH)2-WS2 heterobilayer can become an important candidate for various optoelectronic device applications in nanoscale.