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  1. The interplay of charge, spin, lattice, and orbital degrees of freedom in correlated materials often leads to rich and exotic properties. Recent studies have brought new perspectives to bosonic collective excitations in correlated materials. For example, inelastic neutron scattering experiments revealed non-trivial band topology for magnons and spin–orbit excitons (SOEs) in a quantum magnet CoTiO3(CTO). Here, we report phonon properties resulting from a combination of strong spin–orbit coupling, large crystal field splitting, and trigonal distortion in CTO. Specifically, the interaction between SOEs and phonons endows chirality to twoEgphonon modes and leads to large phonon magnetic moments observed in magneto-Raman spectra. The remarkably strong magneto-phononic effect originates from the hybridization of SOEs and phonons due to their close energy proximity. While chiral phonons have been associated with electronic topology in some materials, our work suggests opportunities may arise by exploring chiral phonons coupled to topological bosons.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 12, 2025
  2. Abstract Electron band topology is combined with intrinsic magnetic orders in MnBi 2 Te 4 , leading to novel quantum phases. Here we investigate collective spin excitations (i.e. magnons) and spin fluctuations in atomically thin MnBi 2 Te 4 flakes using Raman spectroscopy. In a two-septuple layer with non-trivial topology, magnon characteristics evolve as an external magnetic field tunes the ground state through three ordered phases: antiferromagnet, canted antiferromagnet, and ferromagnet. The Raman selection rules are determined by both the crystal symmetry and magnetic order while the magnon energy is determined by different interaction terms. Using non-interacting spin-wave theory, we extract the spin-wave gap at zero magnetic field, an anisotropy energy, and interlayer exchange in bilayers. We also find magnetic fluctuations increase with reduced thickness, which may contribute to a less robust magnetic order in single layers. 
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  5. Abstract

    The van der Waals magnets CrX3(X = I, Br, and Cl) exhibit highly tunable magnetic properties and are promising candidates for developing novel two‐dimensional (2D) spintronic devices such as magnetic tunnel junctions and spin tunneling transistors. Previous studies of the antiferromagnetic CrCl3have mainly focused on mechanically exfoliated samples. Controlled synthesis of high quality atomically thin flakes is critical for their technological implementation but has not been achieved to date. This work reports the growth of large CrCl3flakes down to monolayer thickness via the physical vapor transport technique. Both isolated flakes with well‐defined facets and long stripe samples with the trilayer portion exceeding 60 µm have been obtained. High‐resolution transmission electron microscopy studies show that the CrCl3flakes are single crystalline in the monoclinic structure, consistent with the Raman results. The room temperature stability of the CrCl3flakes decreases with decreasing thickness. The tunneling magnetoresistance of graphite/CrCl3/graphite tunnel junctions confirms that few‐layer CrCl3possesses in‐plane magnetic anisotropy and Néel temperature of 17 K. This study paves the path for developing CrCl3‐based scalable 2D spintronic applications.

     
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  6. Abstract

    A long‐standing pursuit in materials science is to identify suitable magnetic semiconductors for integrated information storage, processing, and transfer. Van der Waals magnets have brought forth new material candidates for this purpose. Recently, sharp exciton resonances in antiferromagnet NiPS3have been reported to correlate with magnetic order, that is, the exciton photoluminescence intensity diminishes above the Néel temperature. Here, it is found that the polarization of maximal exciton emission rotates locally, revealing three possible spin chain directions. This discovery establishes a new understanding of the antiferromagnet order hidden in previous neutron scattering and optical experiments. Furthermore, defect‐bound states are suggested as an alternative exciton formation mechanism that has yet to be explored in NiPS3. The supporting evidence includes chemical analysis, excitation power, and thickness dependent photoluminescence and first‐principles calculations. This mechanism for exciton formation is also consistent with the presence of strong phonon side bands. This study shows that anisotropic exciton photoluminescence can be used to read out local spin chain directions in antiferromagnets and realize multi‐functional devices via spin‐photon transduction.

     
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  7. Abstract

    Magnetic skyrmions are topologically nontrivial chiral spin textures that have potential applications in next‐generation energy‐efficient and high‐density spintronic devices. In general, the chiral spins of skyrmions are stabilized by the noncollinear Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction (DMI), originating from the inversion symmetry breaking combined with the strong spin–orbit coupling (SOC). Here, the strong SOC from topological insulators (TIs) is utilized to provide a large interfacial DMI in TI/ferrimagnet heterostructures at room temperature, resulting in small‐size (radius ≈ 100 nm) skyrmions in the adjacent ferrimagnet. Antiferromagnetically coupled skyrmion sublattices are observed in the ferrimagnet by element‐resolved scanning transmission X‐ray microscopy, showing the potential of a vanishing skyrmion Hall effect and ultrafast skyrmion dynamics. The line‐scan spin profile of the single skyrmion shows a Néel‐type domain wall structure and a 120 nm size of the 180° domain wall. This work demonstrates the sizable DMI and small skyrmions in TI‐based heterostructures with great promise for low‐energy spintronic devices.

     
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