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  1. Abstract

    Moiré magnetism featured by stacking engineered atomic registry and lattice interactions has recently emerged as an appealing quantum state of matter at the forefront of condensed matter physics research. Nanoscale imaging of moiré magnets is highly desirable and serves as a prerequisite to investigate a broad range of intriguing physics underlying the interplay between topology, electronic correlations, and unconventional nanomagnetism. Here we report spin defect-based wide-field imaging of magnetic domains and spin fluctuations in twisted double trilayer (tDT) chromium triiodide CrI3. We explicitly show that intrinsic moiré domains of opposite magnetizations appear over arrays of moiré supercells in low-twist-angle tDT CrI3. In contrast, spin fluctuations measured in tDT CrI3manifest little spatial variations on the same mesoscopic length scale due to the dominant driving force of intralayer exchange interaction. Our results enrich the current understanding of exotic magnetic phases sustained by moiré magnetism and highlight the opportunities provided by quantum spin sensors in probing microscopic spin related phenomena on two-dimensional flatland.

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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 13, 2024
  3. Local characterization of the properties and performances of miniaturized magnetic devices is a prerequisite for advancing present on-chip spintronic technologies. Utilizing nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers in diamond, here we report quantum sensing of spin wave modes and magnetic stray field environment of patterned micrometer-scale Y3Fe5O12 (YIG) disks at the submicrometer length scale. Taking advantage of wide-field magnetometry techniques using NV ensembles, we map the spatially dependent NV electron spin resonances and Rabi oscillations in response to local variations of the stray fields emanating from a proximal YIG pattern. Our experimental data are in excellent agreement with theoretical predictions and micromagnetic simulation results, highlighting the significant opportunities offered by NV centers for probing the local magnetic properties of functional solid-state devices. The presented quantum sensing strategy may also find applications in the development of next-generation spintronic circuits with improved scalability and density. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 10, 2024
  4. Abstract

    Chirality has been a property of central importance in physics, chemistry and biology for more than a century. Recently, electrons were found to become spin polarized after transmitting through chiral molecules, crystals, and their hybrids. This phenomenon, called chirality-induced spin selectivity (CISS), presents broad application potentials and far-reaching fundamental implications involving intricate interplays among structural chirality, topological states, and electronic spin and orbitals. However, the microscopic picture of how chiral geometry influences electronic spin remains elusive, given the negligible spin-orbit coupling (SOC) in organic molecules. In this work, we address this issue via a direct comparison of magnetoconductance (MC) measurements on magnetic semiconductor-based chiral molecular spin valves with normal metal electrodes of contrasting SOC strengths. The experiment reveals that a heavy-metal electrode provides SOC to convert the orbital polarization induced by the chiral molecular structure tospinpolarization. Our results illustrate the essential role of SOC in the metal electrode for the CISS spin valve effect. A tunneling model with a magnetochiral modulation of the potential barrier is shown to quantitatively account for the unusual transport behavior.

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  5. Noncollinear antiferromagnets with novel magnetic orders, vanishingly small net magnetization and exotic spin related properties hold enormous promise for developing next generation, transformative spintronic applications. A major ongoing research focus of this community is to explore, control, and harness unconventional magnetic phases of this emergent material system to deliver state-of-the-art functionalities for modern microelectronics. Here we report direct imaging of magnetic domains of polycrystalline Mn3Sn films, a prototypical noncollinear antiferromagnet, using nitrogen-vacancy-based single-spin scanning microscopy. Nanoscale evolution of local stray field patterns of Mn3Sn samples are systematically investigated in response to external driving forces, revealing the characteristic “heterogeneous” magnetic switching behaviors in polycrystalline textured Mn3Sn films. Our results contribute to a comprehensive understanding of inhomogeneous magnetic orders of noncollinear antiferromagnets, highlighting the potential of nitrogen-vacancy centers to study microscopic spin properties of a broad range of emergent condensed matter systems. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 14, 2024
  6. Abstract

    Emergent color centers with accessible spins hosted by van der Waals materials have attracted substantial interest in recent years due to their significant potential for implementing transformative quantum sensing technologies. Hexagonal boron nitride (hBN) is naturally relevant in this context due to its remarkable ease of integration into devices consisting of low-dimensional materials. Taking advantage of boron vacancy spin defects in hBN, we report nanoscale quantum imaging of low-dimensional ferromagnetism sustained in Fe3GeTe2/hBN van der Waals heterostructures. Exploiting spin relaxometry methods, we have further observed spatially varying magnetic fluctuations in the exfoliated Fe3GeTe2flake, whose magnitude reaches a peak value around the Curie temperature. Our results demonstrate the capability of spin defects in hBN of investigating local magnetic properties of layered materials in an accessible and precise way, which can be extended readily to a broad range of miniaturized van der Waals heterostructure systems.

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  7. Novel noncollinear antiferromagnets with spontaneous time-reversal symmetry breaking, nontrivial band topology, and unconventional transport properties have received immense research interest over the past decade due to their rich physics and enormous promise in technological applications. One of the central focuses in this emerging field is exploring the relationship between the microscopic magnetic structure and exotic material properties. Here, the nanoscale imaging of both spin-orbit-torque-induced deterministic magnetic switching and chiral spin rotation in noncollinear antiferromagnet Mn3Sn films using nitrogen-vacancy (NV) centers is reported. Direct evidence of the off-resonance dipole-dipole coupling between the spin dynamics in Mn3Sn and proximate NV centers is also demonstrated with NV relaxometry measurements. These results demonstrate the unique capabilities of NV centers in accessing the local information of the magnetic order and dynamics in these emergent quantum materials and suggest new opportunities for investigating the interplay between topology and magnetism in a broad range of topological magnets. 
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