In a joint experimental and theoretical study, Di Xiao and collaborators from several groups across the country and from China observed out-of-plane magnetism in a monolayer of chromium triiodide (CrI3). The study, entitled further described the dependence of the magnetic ordering on the number of layers in the material—bilayer CrI3 displays suppressed magnetization, whereas in trilayer CrI3 the interlayer ferromagnetism is restored. This thickness-dependent behavior is typical of van der Waals crystals. The findings are reported in an article entitled “Layer-dependent ferromagnetism in a van der Waals crystal down to the monolayer limit” that was published in this month’s issue of Nature.
Electricity and magnetism rule our digital world. Semiconductors process electrical information, while magnetic materials enable long-term data storage. A research team led by PQI faculty Jeremy Levy has discovered a way to fuse these two distinct properties in a single material, paving the way for new ultrahigh density storage and computing architectures.
Levy and colleagues published their work in Nature Communications, elucidating their discovery of a form of magnetism that can be stabilized with electric fields rather than magnetic fields.