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  1. Abstract

    Metal-insulator-semiconductor (MIS) structures are widely used in Si-based solar water-splitting photoelectrodes to protect the Si layer from corrosion. Typically, there is a tradeoff between efficiency and stability when optimizing insulator thickness. Moreover, lithographic patterning is often required for fabricating MIS photoelectrodes. In this study, we demonstrate improved Si-based MIS photoanodes with thick insulating layers fabricated using thin-film reactions to create localized conduction paths through the insulator and electrodeposition to form metal catalyst islands. These fabrication approaches are low-cost and highly scalable, and yield MIS photoanodes with low onset potential, high saturation current density, and excellent stability. By combining this approach with a p+n-Si buried junction, further improved oxygen evolution reaction (OER) performance is achieved with an onset potential of 0.7 V versus reversible hydrogen electrode (RHE) and saturation current density of 32 mA/cm2under simulated AM1.5G illumination. Moreover, in stability testing in 1 M KOH aqueous solution, a constant photocurrent density of ~22 mA/cm2is maintained at 1.3 V versus RHE for 7 days.

  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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  4. Illuminating materials with lasers can create intriguing magnetic and topological states of matter..
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