Antiferromagnetic topological insulator

The realization of the first antiferromagnetic (AFM) topological insulator (TI) is predicted by theory and confirmed using various experimental techniques in the layered van der Waals compound MnBi2Te4. A large bandgap in the topological surface state of the (0001) surface is observed in high resolution ARPES.

  Otrokov et al., Nature 576, 416 (2019)


We have predicted by ab initio calculations and further confirmed using various experimental techniques, including high-resolution angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (ARPES), the realization of an antiferromagnetic (AFM) topological insulator (TI) in the layered van der Waals compound MnBi2Te4. This is the first observation of an intrinsic magnetic topological insulator, i.e. a stoichiometric well ordered magnetic compound. Our experiments indicate that the symmetry-breaking (0001) surface of MnBi2Te4 exhibits a large bandgap in the topological surface state. A number of fundamental phenomena are expected to be eventually observed, including quantized magnetoelectric coupling and axion electrodynamics. Other exotic phenomena could become accessible at temperatures significantly higher than those achieved to date on magnetic topological insulators created by the doping of non-magnetic topological insulators with 3d transition metal elements, such as the quantum anomalous Hall effect and chiral Majorana fermions.

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Prediction and observation of an antiferromagnetic topological insulator
M.M. Otrokov, I.I. Klimovskikh, H. Bentmann, D. Estyunin, A. Zeugner, Z.S. Aliev, S. Gaß, A.U.B. Wolter, A.V. Koroleva, A.M. Shikin, M. Blanco-Rey, M. Hoffmann, I.P. Rusinov, A.Yu. Vyazovskaya, S.V. Eremeev, Yu.M. Koroteev, V.M. Kuznetsov, F. Freyse, J. Sánchez-Barriga, I.R. Amiraslanov, M.B. Babanly, N.T. Mamedov, N.A. Abdullayev, V.N. Zverev, A. Alfonsov, V. Kataev, B. Büchner, E. F. Schwier, S. Kumar, A. Kimura, L. Petaccia, G. Di Santo, R.C. Vidal, S. Schatz, K. Kißner, M. Ünzelmann, C.H. Min, Simon K. Moser, T.R.F. Peixoto, F. Reinert, A. Ernst, P.M. Echenique, A. Isaeva, E.V. Chulkov,
Nature 576, 416 (2019).
doi: 10.1038/s41586-019-1840-9

This work was selected as a CERIC-ERIC Highlights.

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