ZrTe2/CrTe2: an epitaxial van der Waals platform for spintronics

Yongxi Ou, Wilson Yanez, Run Xiao, Max Stanley, Supriya Ghosh, Boyang Zheng, Wei Jiang, Yu Sheng Huang, Timothy Pillsbury, Anthony Richardella, Chaoxing Liu, Tony Low, Vincent H. Crespi, K. Andre Mkhoyan, Nitin Samarth

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The rapid discovery of two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals (vdW) quantum materials has led to heterostructures that integrate diverse quantum functionalities such as topological phases, magnetism, and superconductivity. In this context, the epitaxial synthesis of vdW heterostructures with well-controlled interfaces is an attractive route towards wafer-scale platforms for systematically exploring fundamental properties and fashioning proof-of-concept devices. Here, we use molecular beam epitaxy to synthesize a vdW heterostructure that interfaces two material systems of contemporary interest: a 2D ferromagnet (1T-CrTe2) and a topological semimetal (ZrTe2). We find that one unit-cell (u.c.) thick 1T-CrTe2 grown epitaxially on ZrTe2 is a 2D ferromagnet with a clear anomalous Hall effect. In thicker samples (12 u.c. thick CrTe2), the anomalous Hall effect has characteristics that may arise from real-space Berry curvature. Finally, in ultrathin CrTe2 (3 u.c. thickness), we demonstrate current-driven magnetization switching in a full vdW topological semimetal/2D ferromagnet heterostructure device.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number2972
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The MBE synthesis, ARPES, STM measurements, and theoretical calculations were supported by the Penn State Two-Dimensional Crystal Consortium-Materials Innovation Platform (2DCC-MIP) under NSF Grant No. DMR-2039351 (Y.O., B.Z., M.S., T.P., A.R., V.H.C., and N.S.). Transport measurements were carried out under the support of the Institute for Quantum Matter under DOE EFRC grant DE-SC0019331 (R.X. and N.S.). The TEM, XRD, SOT measurements, and spin Hall conductivity calculations were supported by SMART, one of seven centers of nCORE, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (W.Y., Y.-S.H., S.G., T.L., K.A.M., and N.S.). Parts of this work were carried out in the Characterization Facility, the University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from the NSF through the MRSEC (Award Number DMR-2011401) and the NNCI (Award Number ECCS-2025124) programs (S.G.and K.A.M.) We thank Jeffrey Shallenberger for assistance in XPS measurements and Hemian Yi for helpful discussions about ARPES measurements.

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© 2022, The Author(s).

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