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Quantum properties and applications of 2D Janus crystals and their superlattices
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Two-dimensional (2D) Janus materials are a new class of materials with unique physical, chemical, and quantum properties. The name "Janus" originates from the ancient Roman god which has two faces, one looking to the future while the other facing the past. Janus has been used to describe special types of materials which have two faces at the nanoscale. This unique atomic arrangement has been shown to present rather exotic properties with applications in biology, chemistry, energy conversion, and quantum sciences. This review article aims to offer a comprehensive review of the emergent quantum properties of Janus materials. The review starts by introducing 0D Janus nanoparticles and 1D Janus nanotubes, and highlights their difference from classical ones. The design principles, synthesis, and the properties of graphene-based and chalcogenide-based Janus layers are then discussed. A particular emphasis is given to colossal built-in potential in 2D Janus layers and resulting quantum phenomena such as Rashba splitting, skyrmionics, excitonics, and 2D magnetic ordering. More recent theoretical predictions are discussed in 2D Janus superlattices when Janus layers are stacked onto each other. Finally, we discuss the tunable quantum properties and newly predicted 2D Janus layers waiting to be experimentally realized. The review serves as a complete summary of the 2D Janus library and predicted quantum properties in 2D Janus layers and their superlattices.