Few-layer Tellurium: one-dimensional-like layered elementary semiconductor with striking physical properties

Jingsi Qiao, Yuhao Pan, Feng Yang, Cong Wang, Yang Chai, Wei Ji

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

205 Citations (Scopus)


Few-layer Tellurium, an elementary semiconductor, succeeds most of striking physical properties that black phosphorus (BP) offers and could be feasibly synthesized by simple solution-based methods. It is comprised of non-covalently bound parallel Te chains, among which covalent-like feature appears. This feature is, we believe, another demonstration of the previously found covalent-like quasi-bonding (CLQB) where wavefunction hybridization does occur. The strength of this inter-chain CLQB is comparable with that of intra-chain covalent bonding, leading to closed stability of several Te allotropes. It also introduces a tunable bandgap varying from nearly direct 0.31 eV (bulk) to indirect 1.17 eV (2L) and four (two) complex, highly anisotropic and layer-dependent hole (electron) pockets in the first Brillouin zone. It also exhibits an extraordinarily high hole mobility (∼10 5 cm 2/Vs) and strong optical absorption along the non-covalently bound direction, nearly isotropic and layer-dependent optical properties, large ideal strength over 20%, better environmental stability than BP and unusual crossover of force constants for interlayer shear and breathing modes. All these results manifest that the few-layer Te is an extraordinary-high-mobility, high optical absorption, intrinsic-anisotropy, low-cost-fabrication, tunable bandgap, better environmental stability and nearly direct bandgap semiconductor. This “one-dimension-like” few-layer Te, together with other geometrically similar layered materials, may promote the emergence of a new family of layered materials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)159-168
Number of pages10
JournalScience Bulletin
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 15 Feb 2018


  • Covalent-like quasi-bonding
  • First-principles calculations
  • High carrier mobility
  • One-dimension-like layered materials
  • Tellurium
  • Two-dimensional systems

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General


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