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Tailoring the Magnetic Exchange Interaction in MnBi2Te4 Superlattices via the Intercalation of Ferromagnetic Layers



Peng Chen, Qi Yao, Junqi Xu, Qiang Sun, Alexander Grutter, Patrick Quarterman, Purnima P. Balakrishnan, Christy J. Kinane, Andrew J. Caruana, Sean Langridge, Ang Li, Barat Achinuq, Emily Heppell, Yuchen Ji, Shanshan Liu, Baoshan Cui, Jiuming Liu, Puyang Huang, Zhongkai Liu, Guoqiang Yu, Faxian Xiu, Thorsten Hesjedal, Jin Zou, Xiaodong Han, Haijun Zhang, Yumeng Yang, Xufeng Kou


The intrinsic magnetic topological insulator MnBi2Te4 (MBT) has provided a platform for the successful realization of exotic quantum phenomena. To broaden the horizons of MBT-based material systems, we intercalate ferromagnetic MnTe layers to construct the [(MBT)(MnTe)m]N superlattices by molecular beam epitaxy. The effective incorporation of ferromagnetic spacers helps mediate the antiferromagnetic interlayer coupling among MBT layers through the exchange spring effect at the MBT/MnTe hetero-interfaces. Moreover, the precise control of the MnTe thickness enables the modulation of relative strengths among the constituent magnetic orders, leading to tunable magnetoelectric responses, while the superlattice periodicity serves as an additional tuning parameter to tailor the spin configurations of the synthesized multi-layers. Our results demonstrate the advantages of superlattice engineering for optimizing the magnetic interactions in MBT-family systems, and the ferromagnet-intercalated strategy opens up new avenues in magnetic topological insulator structural design and spintronic applications.
Nature Electronics


Topology, Magnetism, Superlattice, Reflectometry


Chen, P. , Yao, Q. , Xu, J. , Sun, Q. , Grutter, A. , Quarterman, P. , Balakrishnan, P. , Kinane, C. , Caruana, A. , Langridge, S. , Li, A. , Achinuq, B. , Heppell, E. , Ji, Y. , Liu, S. , Cui, B. , Liu, J. , Huang, P. , Liu, Z. , Yu, G. , Xiu, F. , Hesjedal, T. , Zou, J. , Han, X. , Zhang, H. , Yang, Y. and Kou, X. (2023), Tailoring the Magnetic Exchange Interaction in MnBi2Te4 Superlattices via the Intercalation of Ferromagnetic Layers, Nature Electronics, [online], (Accessed July 19, 2024)


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Created January 1, 2023, Updated January 23, 2024