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Strain, Lattice, Interactions and Entanglement in novel Two-Dimensional materials

Final Report Summary - LSIE_2D (Strain, Lattice, Interactions and Entanglement in novel Two-Dimensional materials.)

Few years after the isolation of the first truly two-dimensional material, graphene, the frontier of the research in the field has shifted towards other novel two-dimensional materials, as transition-metal dichalcogenides or black phosphorus, which present more promising physical characteristics than graphene.
Aim of the present project has been to investigate in detail at the microscopic level the fundamental physical many-body mechanisms that control the electronic, transport and optical properties of these layered materials, with particular focus on electron-electron and electron-lattice interactions.
Final goal of the theoretical research in this field has to achieve a robust understanding of how manipulate the different degrees of freedoms here present (spin, orbital, valley, lattice) by means of external conditions (temperature, strain, pressure, disorder, etc.)
At the same time, the leadership acquired by the PI has permitted the project to be constantly updated in regards to the new developments in the field, including thus in the project activities the most recent cutting-edge interests.

Within this context, more specific objects of investigation of the present project have been so far:
1) analysis of the effect of the strong spin-orbit coupling in the whole Brillouin zone, by means of a tight-binding modeling;
2) study of the role of the interlayer coupling on the dielectric properties of two-dimensional compounds;
3) robust description of strain effects in transition-metal dichalcogenides in terms of quantum gauge field;
4) study of structural properties and role of the quantum flexural lattice fluctuations of the rippling/crumpling instability in quantum two-dimensional crystalline membranes;
5) analysis of microscopic model of many-body interactions and possible broken symmetry phases in graphene on substrates;
6) study of the role of homogeneous and inhomogeneous strain on the electronic, transport, optical and topological properties of transition-metal dichalcogenides, with particular regards to the role of the edge states;
7) analysis of the unconventional dc transport properties in low-carrier density spin-orbit Rashba systems, pointing out the breakdown of the paradigmatic Boltzmann-Drude description;
8) analysis of the anisotropic optical and electrostatic (AFM) properties of uniaxially corrugated MoS2 induced by the underlying lattice modulation;
9) role of the c-axis quantum lattice fluctuations on the electronic and optical properties of single layer - and multi-layer transition-metal dichalcogenides.

Besides the scientific goals, the present CIG project has provided a powerful support to the development of the professional career and independence of the Fellow, which has at the moment a permanent position at the Host Institution and has been in this period Group Leader and Scientific Supervisor of the research activity of two undergraduate students and two junior PostDoc.
Thanks to the leadership acquired from the project, the PI is also Coordinator and Project Manager of the CNR Unit of a Italian Research Project PRIN2015 which has been recently approved for funding by Italian Ministry MIUR.
In addition the PI is constantly participating to the main scientific project calls of Horizon2020 (ITN, FET), in fruitful networking with the main european research groups.