Magnetically doped topological insulators may produce novel states of electronic matter, where for instance the quantum anomalous Hall effect state can be realized. Pivotal to this goal is a microscopic control over the magnetic state, defined by the local electronic structure of the dopants and their interactions. We report on the magnetic coupling among Mn or Co atoms adsorbed on the surface of the topological insulator Bi2Te3. Our findings uncover the mechanisms of the exchange coupling between magnetic atoms coupled to the topological surface state in strong topological insulators. The combination of x-ray magnetic circular dichroism and ab initio calculations reveals that the sign of the magnetic coupling at short adatom-adatom distances is opposite for Mn with respect to Co. For both elements, the magnetic exchange reverses its sign at a critical distance between magnetic adatoms, as a result of the interplay between superexchange, double exchange and Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yoshida interactions.
The semimetal MoTe2 is studied by spin- and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy across the centrosymmetry-breaking structural transition temperature of the bulk. A three-dimensional spin- texture is observed in the bulk Fermi surface in the low temperature, noncentrosymmetric phase that is consistent with first-principles calculations. The spin texture and two types of surface Fermi arc are not completely suppressed above the bulk transition temperature. The lifetimes of quasiparticles forming the Fermi arcs depend on thermal history and lengthen considerably upon cooling toward the bulk structural transition. The results indicate that a new form of polar instability exists near the surface when the bulk is largely in a centrosymmetric phase.
Interfaces are ubiquitous in materials science, and in devices in particular. As device dimensions are constantly shrinking, understanding the physical properties emerging at interfaces is crucial to exploit them for applications, here for spintronics. Using first-principles techniques and Monte Carlo simulations, we investigate the mutual magnetic interaction at the interface between graphene and an antiferromagnetic semiconductor BaMnO3. We find that graphene deeply affects the magnetic state of the substrate, down to several layers below the interface, by inducing an overall magnetic softening, and switching the in-plane magnetic ordering from antiferromagnetic to ferromagnetic. The graphene-BaMnO3 system presents a Rashba gap 300 times larger than in pristine graphene, leading to a flavor of quantum anomalous Hall effect (QAHE), a hybrid QAHE, characterized by the coexistence of metallic and topological insulating states. These findings could be exploited to fabricate devices that use graphene to control the magnetic configuration of a substrate.
The discovery of Weyl semimetals represents a significant advance in topological band theory. They paradigmatically enlarged the classification of topological materials to gapless systems while simultaneously providing experimental evidence for the long-sought Weyl fermions. Beyond fundamental relevance, their high mobility, strong magnetoresistance, and the possible existence of even more exotic effects, such as the chiral anomaly, make Weyl semimetals a promising platform to develop radically new technology. Fully exploiting their potential requires going beyond the mere identification of materials and calls for a detailed characterization of their functional response, which is severely complicated by the coexistence of surface-and bulk-derived topologically protected quasiparticles, i.e., Fermi arcs and Weyl points, respectively. Here, we focus on the type-II Weyl semimetal class in which we find a stoichiometry-dependent phase transition from a trivial to a nontrivial regime. By exploring the two extreme cases of the phase diagram, we demonstrate the existence of a universal response of both surface and bulk states to perturbations. We show that quasiparticle interference patterns originate from scattering events among surface arcs. Analysis reveals that topologically nontrivial contributions are strongly suppressed by spin texture. We also show that scattering at localized impurities can generate defect-induced quasiparticles sitting close to the Weyl point energy. These give rise to strong peaks in the local density of states, which lift the Weyl node, significantly altering the pristine low-energy spectrum. Remarkably, by comparing the WTe2 and the MoTe2 cases we found that scattering response and topological transition are not directly linked. Visualizing the existence of a universal microscopic response to scattering has important consequences for understanding the unusual transport properties of this class of materials. Overall, our observations provide a unifying picture of the type-II Weyl phase diagram.
Department of Physics National and Kapodistrian University of Athens University Campus GR-157 84 Zografou, Athens