Electrons on the sting: The story of an intrinsic magnetic topological insulator


The noticed band-gaps and corresponding schematic in 2D ferromagnetic insulator (left) and QAH insulator MNBI2TE4 (proper). Credit: FLEET

An intrinsic magnetic topological insulator MNBI2TE4 has been found with a big band hole, making it a promising materials platform for fabricating ultra-low-energy electronics and observing unique topological phenomena.

Hosting each magnetism and topology, ultra-thin (solely a number of nanometers in thickness) MNBI2TE4 was discovered to have a big band-gap in a Quantum Anomalous Hall (QAH) insulating state, the place the fabric is metallic (ie, electrically conducting) alongside its one-dimensional edges, whereas electrically insulating in its inside. The nearly zero resistance alongside the 1D edges of a QAH insulator, make it promising for lossless transport functions and ultra-low power units.

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History of QAH: easy methods to obtain the specified impact

Previously, the trail in direction of realizing the QAH impact was to introduce dilute quantities of magnetic dopants into ultra-thin movies of 3D topological insulators.

However, dilute magnetic doping leads to a random-distribution of magnetic impurities, inflicting non-uniform doping and magnetisation. This enormously suppresses the temperature at which the QAH impact might be noticed and limits attainable future functions.

An easier choice is to make use of supplies that host this digital state of matter as an intrinsic property.

Recently, courses of atomically -thin crystals have emerged, much like the well-known graphene, which might be intrinsic magnetic topological insulators (ie, possess each magnetism and topological safety).

These supplies have the benefit of getting much less dysfunction and bigger magnetic band-gaps, permitting sturdy magnetic topological phases working at greater temperature (i.e., nearer to the last word purpose of room-temperature operation).

“At FLEET’s labs at Monash University, we grew ultra-thin films of an intrinsic magnetic topological insulator MNBI2TE4 and investigated their electronic band structure,” explains lead creator Dr. Chi Xuan Trang.

Mind the hole: easy methods to observe the band-gap in a magnetic topological insulator

Magnetism launched in topological-insulator supplies breaks time-reversal symmetry within the materials, leading to opening a spot within the floor state of the topological insulator.

Electrons on the edge: the story of an intrinsic magnetic topological insulator
Observing the phase transition from QAH insulator phase (left) to paramagnetic gapless TI phase (proper), when above the magnetic ordering temperature. Credit: FLEET

“Although we cannot directly observe the QAH effect using angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), we can use this technique to probe the size of a band-gap opening on the surface of MNBI2TE4 and how it evolves with temperature,” says Dr. Trang, who’s a Research Fellow at FLEET.

In an intrinsic magnetic topological insulator, corresponding to MNBI2TE4, there’s a vital magnetic ordering temperature the place the fabric is predicted to endure a topological phase transition from QAH insulator to a paramagnetic topological insulator.

“By using angle-resolved photoemission at different temperatures, we could measure the band gap in MNBI2TE4 opening and closing to confirm the topological phase transition and magnetic nature of the bandgap,” says Qile Li a FLEET Ph.D. pupil and co-lead creator on the examine.

“The bandgaps of ultrathin film MBT can also change as a function of thickness, and we observed that a single layer MNBI2TE4 is a wide bandgap 2D ferromagnetic insulator. A single layer of MBT as a 2D ferromagnet could also be used in proximity magnetisation when combined in a heterostructure with a topological insulator.” says Qile Li.

“By combining our experimental observations with first-principles density functional theory (DFT) calculations, we can confirm the electronic structure and the gap size of layer-dependent MNBI2TE4,” says FLEET AI and group chief Dr. Mark Edmonds.

Applications of the intrinsic magnetic topological insulator MNBI2TE4

MNBI2TE4 has potential in a lot of classical computing functions, corresponding to in lossless transport and ultra-low power units. Furthermore, it could possibly be coupled with a superconductor to present rise to chiral Majorana edge states, that are necessary for topological quantum computing machine schemes.

The examine

FLEET researchers used angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), and density purposeful principle (DFT) calculations to review the digital state and band construction of MNBI2TE4.

Crossover from 2D Ferromagnetic Insulator to Wide Band Gap Quantum Anomalous Hall Insulator in Ultrathin MNBI2TE4 was printed in August 2021 in ACS Nano.

Ultrathin MNBI2TE4 movie’s recipe on this examine was initially present in Edmonds Electronic Structure laboratory at Monash University. Afterward, the ultrathin movies had been grown and characterised utilizing ARPES measurements on the Advanced Light Source (Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory) in California.

Joining topological insulators with magnetic materials for energy-efficient electronics

More info:
Chi Xuan Trang et al, Crossover from 2D Ferromagnetic Insulator to Wide Band Gap Quantum Anomalous Hall Insulator in Ultrathin MNBI2TE4, ACS Nano (2021). DOI: 10.1021/acsnano.1c03936

Electrons on the sting: The story of an intrinsic magnetic topological insulator (2021, September 21)
retrieved 21 September 2021
from https://phys.org/news/2021-09-electrons-edge-story-intrinsic-magnetic.html

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