Our density functional theory calculations show that tiny-gap semiconductor SiGe monolayer is a quantum valley Hall insulator with a spontaneous electric polarization and, under a small biaxial strain, undergoes a topological phase transition between the states with opposite valley Chern numbers. The topological phase transition entails abrupt inversion of the in-plane electric polarization corresponding to inversion of the sublattice pseudospin polarization, while the out-of-plane electric polarization shows a linear response to the biaxial strain as well as to the perpendicular electric field regardless of the phase transition. Thus, the quantum valley Hall state entails in-plane ferroelectricity corresponding to a sublattice pseudospin ferromagnetism.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (Project No. 2019R1A2C1002076 and BK21PLUS-Initiative for Creative and independent Scientists).
© 2020, The Author(s).
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