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MEM-C IRG-2: Coupling a Monolayer Magnet

Figure 1. The conductance (top) of a device containing trilayer CrI3 overlaying monolayer WTe2 encapsulated in hBN, shows steps and hysteresis as a function of perpendicular magnetic field. The steps occur when the magnetization of the CrI3 rearranges, as detected by circular dichroism (bottom) which measures the total magnetization.

Monolayer WTe2 is a quantum spin Hall insulator at temperatures below 100 K. This means that the current is carried by helical conducting edge modes and is spin polarized. CrI3 is a layered antiferromagnet below about 45 K, with the magnetization of each layer out of plane and opposite to that of the adjacent layers. The magnetization of the CrI3 is therefore expected to affect the spin-polarized current in the WTe2 edge if the two are coupled.

We have made devices incorporating bi- and tri-layer CrI3 on top of monolayer WTe2. We found that when the magnetization pattern of the layers changes in an applied magnetic field, the conductance of the WTe2 edge changes. The magnitude of the effect can be interpreted in terms of a perpendicular exchange field acting on the WTe2 of ~3 T from the adjacent CrI3 monolayer, consistent with magnetic inception of backscattering within the edge.