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Title: A high-temperature ferromagnetic topological insulating phase by proximity coupling

Topological insulators are insulating materials that display conducting surface states protected by time-reversal symmetry(1,)2, wherein electron spins are locked to their momentum. This unique property opens up new opportunities for creating next-generation electronic, spintronic and quantum computation devices(3-5). Introducing ferromagnetic order into a topological insulator system without compromising its distinctive quantum coherent features could lead to the realization of several predicted physical phenomena(6,7). In particular, achieving robust long-range magnetic order at the surface of the topological insulator at specific locations without introducing spin-scattering centres could open up new possibilities for devices. Here we use spin-polarized neutron reflectivity experiments to demonstrate topologically enhanced interface magnetism by coupling a ferromagnetic insulator (EuS) to a topological insulator (Bi2Se3) in a bilayer system. This interfacial ferromagnetism persists up to room temperature, even though the ferromagnetic insulator is known to order ferromagnetically only at low temperatures (<17 K). The magnetism induced at the interface resulting from the large spin-orbit interaction and the spin-momentum locking of the topological insulator surface greatly enhances the magnetic ordering (Curie) temperature of this bilayer system. The ferromagnetism extends similar to 2 nm into the Bi2Se3 from the interface. Owing to the short-range nature of the ferromagnetic exchange interaction, the time-reversalmore » symmetry is broken only near the surface of a topological insulator, while leaving its bulk states unaffected. The topological magneto-electric response originating in such an engineered topological insulator(2,8) could allow efficient manipulation of the magnetization dynamics by an electric field, providing an energy-efficient topological control mechanism for future spin-based technologies.« less
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Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
DOE Contract Number:
Resource Type:
Journal Article
Resource Relation:
Journal Name: Nature (London); Journal Volume: 533; Journal Issue: 7604
Nature Publishing Group
Research Org:
Argonne National Laboratory (ANL)
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation (NSF); USDOE Office of Science - Office of Basic Energy Sciences - Scientific User Facilities Division
Country of Publication:
United States