Defect-driven ferrimagnetism and hidden magnetization in MnBi2Te4

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2021-05-28
Authors
Lai, You
Ke, Liqin
Yan, Jiaqiang
McDonald, Ross
McQueeney, Robert
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Ames Laboratory
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Physics and Astronomy
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Ames LaboratoryPhysics and Astronomy
Abstract

MnBi2Te4 (MBT) materials are promising antiferromagnetic topological insulators in which field-driven ferromagnetism is predicted to cause a transition between axion insulator and Weyl semimetallic states. However, the presence of antiferromagnetic coupling between Mn/Bi antisite defects and the main Mn layer can reduce the low-field magnetization, and it has been shown that such defects are more prevalent in the structurally identical magnetic insulator MnSb2Te4 (MST). We use high-field magnetization measurements to show that the magnetization of MBT and MST occur in stages and full saturation requires fields of ∼60 T. As a consequence, the low-field magnetization plateau state in MBT, where many determinations of the quantum anomalous Hall state are studied, actually consists of ferrimagnetic septuple blocks containing both uniform and staggered magnetization components.

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