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Article: Discovery of intrinsic ferromagnetism in two-dimensional van der Waals crystals

TitleDiscovery of intrinsic ferromagnetism in two-dimensional van der Waals crystals
Authors
Issue Date2017
PublisherNature Publishing Group. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.nature.com/nature
Citation
Nature, 2017, v. 546 n. 7657, p. 265-269 How to Cite?
AbstractThe realization of long-range ferromagnetic order in two-dimensional van der Waals crystals, combined with their rich electronic and optical properties, could lead to new magnetic, magnetoelectric and magneto-optic applications. In two-dimensional systems, the long-range magnetic order is strongly suppressed by thermal fluctuations, according to the Mermin-Wagner theorem; however, these thermal fluctuations can be counteracted by magnetic anisotropy. Previous efforts, based on defect and composition engineering, or the proximity effect, introduced magnetic responses only locally or extrinsically. Here we report intrinsic long-range ferromagnetic order in pristine Cr2 Ge2 Te6 atomic layers, as revealed by scanning magneto-optic Kerr microscopy. In this magnetically soft, two-dimensional van der Waals ferromagnet, we achieve unprecedented control of the transition temperature (between ferromagnetic and paramagnetic states) using very small fields (smaller than 0.3 tesla). This result is in contrast to the insensitivity of the transition temperature to magnetic fields in the three-dimensional regime. We found that the small applied field leads to an effective anisotropy that is much greater than the near-zero magnetocrystalline anisotropy, opening up a large spin-wave excitation gap. We explain the observed phenomenon using renormalized spin-wave theory and conclude that the unusual field dependence of the transition temperature is a hallmark of soft, two-dimensional ferromagnetic van der Waals crystals. Cr2 Ge2 Te6 is a nearly ideal two-dimensional Heisenberg ferromagnet and so will be useful for studying fundamental spin behaviours, opening the door to exploring new applications such as ultra-compact spintronics. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.
Persistent Identifierhttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/257372
ISSN
2015 Impact Factor: 38.138
2015 SCImago Journal Rankings: 21.936

 

DC FieldValueLanguage
dc.contributor.authorGong, C-
dc.contributor.authorLi, L-
dc.contributor.authorLi, Z-
dc.contributor.authorJi, H-
dc.contributor.authorStern, A-
dc.contributor.authorXia, Y-
dc.contributor.authorCao, T-
dc.contributor.authorBao, W-
dc.contributor.authorWang, C-
dc.contributor.authorWang, Y-
dc.contributor.authorQiu, ZQ-
dc.contributor.authorCava, RJ-
dc.contributor.authorLouie, SG-
dc.contributor.authorXia, J-
dc.contributor.authorZhang, X-
dc.date.accessioned2018-07-27T08:43:16Z-
dc.date.available2018-07-27T08:43:16Z-
dc.date.issued2017-
dc.identifier.citationNature, 2017, v. 546 n. 7657, p. 265-269-
dc.identifier.issn0028-0836-
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10722/257372-
dc.description.abstractThe realization of long-range ferromagnetic order in two-dimensional van der Waals crystals, combined with their rich electronic and optical properties, could lead to new magnetic, magnetoelectric and magneto-optic applications. In two-dimensional systems, the long-range magnetic order is strongly suppressed by thermal fluctuations, according to the Mermin-Wagner theorem; however, these thermal fluctuations can be counteracted by magnetic anisotropy. Previous efforts, based on defect and composition engineering, or the proximity effect, introduced magnetic responses only locally or extrinsically. Here we report intrinsic long-range ferromagnetic order in pristine Cr2 Ge2 Te6 atomic layers, as revealed by scanning magneto-optic Kerr microscopy. In this magnetically soft, two-dimensional van der Waals ferromagnet, we achieve unprecedented control of the transition temperature (between ferromagnetic and paramagnetic states) using very small fields (smaller than 0.3 tesla). This result is in contrast to the insensitivity of the transition temperature to magnetic fields in the three-dimensional regime. We found that the small applied field leads to an effective anisotropy that is much greater than the near-zero magnetocrystalline anisotropy, opening up a large spin-wave excitation gap. We explain the observed phenomenon using renormalized spin-wave theory and conclude that the unusual field dependence of the transition temperature is a hallmark of soft, two-dimensional ferromagnetic van der Waals crystals. Cr2 Ge2 Te6 is a nearly ideal two-dimensional Heisenberg ferromagnet and so will be useful for studying fundamental spin behaviours, opening the door to exploring new applications such as ultra-compact spintronics. © 2017 Macmillan Publishers Limited, part of Springer Nature.-
dc.languageeng-
dc.publisherNature Publishing Group. The Journal's web site is located at http://www.nature.com/nature-
dc.relation.ispartofNature-
dc.titleDiscovery of intrinsic ferromagnetism in two-dimensional van der Waals crystals-
dc.typeArticle-
dc.identifier.emailZhang, X: president@hku.hk-
dc.identifier.authorityZhang, X=rp02411-
dc.description.naturelink_to_subscribed_fulltext-
dc.identifier.doi10.1038/nature22060-
dc.identifier.scopuseid_2-s2.0-85020415451-
dc.identifier.volume546-
dc.identifier.issue7657-
dc.identifier.spage265-
dc.identifier.epage269-
dc.publisher.placeUnited Kingdom-

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