skip to main content

This content will become publicly available on December 1, 2024

Title: Imaging real-space flat band localization in kagome magnet FeSn

Kagome lattices host flat bands due to their frustrated lattice geometry, which leads to destructive quantum interference of electron wave functions. Here, we report imaging of the kagome flat band localization in real-space using scanning tunneling microscopy. We identify both the Fe3Sn kagome lattice layer and the Sn2honeycomb layer with atomic resolution in kagome antiferromagnet FeSn. On the Fe3Sn lattice, at the flat band energy determined by the angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy, tunneling spectroscopy detects an unusual state localized uniquely at the Fe kagome lattice network. We further show that the vectorial in-plane magnetic field manipulates the spatial anisotropy of the localization state within each kagome unit cell. Our results are consistent with the real-space flat band localization in the magnetic kagome lattice. We further discuss the magnetic tuning of flat band localization under the spin–orbit coupled magnetic kagome lattice model.

more » « less
Award ID(s):
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ; ;
Publisher / Repository:
communication materials
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Communications Materials
Page Range / eLocation ID:
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Kagome lattice hosts a plethora of quantum states arising from the interplay of topology, spin-orbit coupling, and electron correlations. Here, we report symmetry-breaking electronic orders tunable by an applied magnetic field in a model Kagome magnet FeSn consisting of alternating stacks of two-dimensional Fe3Sn Kagome and Sn2honeycomb layers. On the Fe3Sn layer terminated FeSn thin films epitaxially grown on SrTiO3(111) substrates, we observe trimerization of the Kagome lattice using scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy, breaking its six-fold rotational symmetry while preserving the translational symmetry. Such a trimerized Kagome lattice shows an energy-dependent contrast reversal in dI/dV maps, which is significantly enhanced by bound states induced by Sn vacancy defects. This trimerized Kagome lattice also exhibits stripe modulations that are energy-dependent and tunable by an applied in-plane magnetic field, indicating symmetry-breaking nematicity from the entangled magnetic and charge degrees of freedom in antiferromagnet FeSn.

    more » « less
  2. Abstract

    Interplay of magnetism and electronic band topology in unconventional magnets enables the creation and fine control of novel electronic phenomena. In this work, we use scanning tunneling microscopy and spectroscopy to study thin films of a prototypical kagome magnet Fe3Sn2. Our experiments reveal an unusually large number of densely-spaced spectroscopic features straddling the Fermi level. These are consistent with signatures of low-energy Weyl fermions and associated topological Fermi arc surface states predicted by theory. By measuring their response as a function of magnetic field, we discover a pronounced evolution in energy tied to the magnetization direction. Electron scattering and interference imaging further demonstrates the tunable nature of a subset of related electronic states. Our experiments provide a direct visualization of how in-situ spin reorientation drives changes in the electronic density of states of the Weyl fermion band structure. Combined with previous reports of massive Dirac fermions, flat bands, and electronic nematicity, our work establishes Fe3Sn2as an interesting platform that harbors an extraordinarily wide array of topological and correlated electron phenomena.

    more » « less
  3. Binary kagome compounds TmXn (T = Mn, Fe, Co; X = Sn, Ge; m:n = 3:1, 3:2, 1:1) have garnered recent interest owing to the presence of both topological band crossings and flatbands arising from the geometry of the metal-site kagome lattice. To exploit these electronic features for potential applications in spintronics, the growth of high-quality heterostructures is required. Here, we report the synthesis of Fe/FeSn and Co/FeSn bilayers on Al2O3 substrates using molecular beam epitaxy to realize heterointerfaces between elemental ferromagnetic metals and antiferromagnetic kagome metals. Structural characterization using high-resolution x-ray diffraction, reflection high-energy electron diffraction, and electron microscopy reveals that the FeSn films are flat and epitaxial. Rutherford backscattering spectroscopy was used to confirm the stoichiometric window where the FeSn phase is stabilized, while transport and magnetometry measurements were conducted to verify metallicity and magnetic ordering in the films. Exchange bias was observed, confirming the presence of antiferromagnetic order in the FeSn layers, paving the way for future studies of magnetism in kagome heterostructures and potential integration of these materials into devices.

    more » « less
  4. Abstract

    The physical realization of Chern insulators is of fundamental and practical interest, as they are predicted to host the quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) effect and topologically protected chiral edge states which can carry dissipationless current. Current realizations of the QAH state often require complex heterostructures and sub-Kelvin temperatures, making the discovery of intrinsic, high temperature QAH systems of significant interest. In this work we show that time-reversal symmetry breaking Weyl semimetals, being essentially stacks of Chern insulators with inter-layer coupling, may provide a new platform for the higher temperature realization of robust chiral edge states. We present combined scanning tunneling spectroscopy and theoretical investigations of the magnetic Weyl semimetal, Co3Sn2S2. Using modeling and numerical simulations we find that depending on the strength of the interlayer coupling, chiral edge states can be localized on partially exposed kagome planes on the surfaces of a Weyl semimetal. Correspondingly, our dI/dVmaps on the kagome Co3Sn terraces show topological states confined to the edges which display linear dispersion. This work provides a new paradigm for realizing chiral edge modes and provides a pathway for the realization of higher temperature QAH effect in magnetic Weyl systems in the two-dimensional limit.

    more » « less
  5. Abstract

    Charge density waves (CDWs) in kagome metals have been tied to many exotic phenomena. Here, using spectroscopic-imaging scanning tunneling microscopy and angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy, we study the charge order in kagome metal ScV6Sn6. The similarity of electronic band structures of ScV6Sn6and TbV6Sn6(where charge ordering is absent) suggests that charge ordering in ScV6Sn6is unlikely to be primarily driven by Fermi surface nesting of the Van Hove singularities. In contrast to the CDW state of cousin kagome metals, we find no evidence supporting rotation symmetry breaking. Differential conductance dI/dVspectra show a partial gapΔ1CO ≈ 20 meV at the Fermi level. Interestingly, dI/dVmaps reveal that charge modulations exhibit an abrupt phase shift as a function of energy at energy much higher thanΔ1CO, which we attribute to another spectral gap. Our experiments reveal a distinctive nature of the charge order in ScV6Sn6with fundamental differences compared to other kagome metals.

    more » « less