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  1. We propose an intrinsic mechanism to understand the even-odd effect, namely, opposite signs of anomalous Hall resistance and different shapes of hysteresis loops for even and odd septuple layers (SLs), of MBE-grown MnBi2Te4 thin films with electron doping. The nonzero hysteresis loops in the anomalous Hall effect and magnetic circular dichroism for even-SLs MnBi2Te4 films originate from two different antiferromagnetic (AFM) configurations with different zeroth Landau level energies of surface states. The complex form of the anomalous Hall hysteresis loop can be understood from two magnetic transitions, a transition between two AFM states followed by a second transition to the ferromagnetic state. Our model also clarifies the relationship and distinction between axion parameter and magnetoelectric coefficient, and shows an even-odd oscillation behavior of magnetoelectric coefficients in MnBi2Te4 films. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 1, 2025
  2. A quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) insulator is a topological phase in which the interior is insulating but electrical current flows along the edges of the sample in either a clockwise or counterclockwise direction, as dictated by the spontaneous magnetization orientation. Such a chiral edge current eliminates any backscattering, giving rise to quantized Hall resistance and zero longitudinal resistance. Here we fabricate mesoscopic QAH sandwich Hall bar devices and succeed in switching the edge current chirality through thermally assisted spin–orbit torque (SOT). The well-quantized QAH states before and after SOT switching with opposite edge current chiralities are demonstrated through four- and three-terminal measurements. We show that the SOT responsible for magnetization switching can be generated by both surface and bulk carriers. Our results further our understanding of the interplay between magnetism and topological states and usher in an easy and instantaneous method to manipulate the QAH state. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available January 1, 2025
  3. The interface between two different materials can show unexpected quantum phenomena. In this study, we used molecular beam epitaxy to synthesize heterostructures formed by stacking together two magnetic materials, a ferromagnetic topological insulator (TI) and an antiferromagnetic iron chalcogenide (FeTe). We observed emergent interface-induced superconductivity in these heterostructures and demonstrated the co-occurrence of superconductivity, ferromagnetism, and topological band structure in the magnetic TI layer—the three essential ingredients of chiral topological superconductivity (TSC). The unusual coexistence of ferromagnetism and superconductivity is accompanied by a high upper critical magnetic field that exceeds the Pauli paramagnetic limit for conventional superconductors at low temperatures. These magnetic TI/FeTe heterostructures with robust superconductivity and atomically sharp interfaces provide an ideal wafer-scale platform for the exploration of chiral TSC and Majorana physics. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 9, 2025
  4. Abstract

    An axion insulator is a three-dimensional (3D) topological insulator (TI), in which the bulk maintains the time-reversal symmetry or inversion symmetry but the surface states are gapped by surface magnetization. The axion insulator state has been observed in molecular beam epitaxy (MBE)-grown magnetically doped TI sandwiches and exfoliated intrinsic magnetic TI MnBi2Te4flakes with an even number layer. All these samples have a thickness of ~ 10 nm, near the 2D-to-3D boundary. The coupling between the top and bottom surface states in thin samples may hinder the observation of quantized topological magnetoelectric response. Here, we employ MBE to synthesize magnetic TI sandwich heterostructures and find that the axion insulator state persists in a 3D sample with a thickness of ~ 106 nm. Our transport results show that the axion insulator state starts to emerge when the thickness of the middle undoped TI layer is greater than ~ 3 nm. The 3D hundred-nanometer-thick axion insulator provides a promising platform for the exploration of the topological magnetoelectric effect and other emergent magnetic topological states, such as the high-order TI phase.

     
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  5. null (Ed.)