The discovery of two-dimensional systems hosting intrinsic magnetic order represents a seminal addition to the rich landscape of van der Waals materials. CrI3is an archetypal example, where the interdependence of structure and magnetism, along with strong light-matter interactions, provides a new platform to explore the optical control of magnetic and vibrational degrees of freedom at the nanoscale. However, the nature of magneto-structural coupling on its intrinsic ultrafast timescale remains a crucial open question. Here, we probe magnetic and vibrational dynamics in bulk CrI3using ultrafast optical spectroscopy, revealing spin-flip scattering-driven demagnetization and strong transient exchange-mediated interactions between lattice vibrations and spin oscillations. The latter yields a coherent spin-coupled phonon mode that is highly sensitive to the driving pulse’s helicity in the magnetically ordered phase. Our results elucidate the nature of ultrafast spin-lattice coupling in CrI3and highlight its potential for applications requiring high-speed control of magnetism at the nanoscale.
Exciton dynamics can be strongly affected by lattice vibrations through electron-phonon coupling. This is rarely explored in two-dimensional magnetic semiconductors. Focusing on bilayer CrI3, we first show the presence of strong electron-phonon coupling through temperature-dependent photoluminescence and absorption spectroscopy. We then report the observation of periodic broad modes up to the 8th order in Raman spectra, attributed to the polaronic character of excitons. We establish that this polaronic character is dominated by the coupling between the charge-transfer exciton at 1.96 eV and a longitudinal optical phonon at 120.6 cm−1. We further show that the emergence of long-range magnetic order enhances the electron-phonon coupling strength by ~50% and that the transition from layered antiferromagnetic to ferromagnetic order tunes the spectral intensity of the periodic broad modes, suggesting a strong coupling among the lattice, charge and spin in two-dimensional CrI3. Our study opens opportunities for tailoring light-matter interactions in two-dimensional magnetic semiconductors.
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- Nature Communications
- Nature Publishing Group
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Coherent helicity-dependent spin-phonon oscillations in the ferromagnetic van der Waals crystal CrI3
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