Coupling Of Magnetism To Topological Insulators For Future Electronics

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Researchers suggested a way to give rise to new phenomena such as quantum anomalous hall insulators for future low-power electronics.

Electricity and magnetism are correlated to each other, and in many applications their coexistence benefits us. Researchers from the Monash university have demonstrated how interplay of magnetism and topology can give rise to new phenomena such as quantum anomalous Hall insulators, axion insulators and skyrmions, all of which are promising building blocks for future low-power electronics.

The quantum hall effect (QHE) is a phenomenon that allows high-speed electrons to flow at a material’s edge, which is potentially useful for future low- energy electronics and spintronics.

With this study, there is a possibility to realize materials for low-power electronics, which are better than CMOS electronics.

“Our aim was to investigate promising new methods of achieving the quantum Hall effect”, says the new study’s lead author, Dr Semonti Bhattacharyya at Monash University. “However, a severe bottleneck for this technology being useful is the fact that quantum Hall effect always requires high magnetic fields, which are not possible without either high energy use or cryogenic cooling.”

“There’s no point in developing ‘low energy’ electronics that consume more energy to make them work!” says Dr Bhattacharyya, who is a Research Fellow at FLEET, seeking a new generation of low-energy electronics.

Researcher believe that a cocktail of topological physics and magnetism can make it possible to realize quantum anomalous hall insulators, and for that the researchers followed several strategies as follows:

  1. by incorporating magnetic impurity,
  2. by using intrinsically magnetic topological insulators
  3. by inducing magnetism through a proximity effect in topological insulator–magnetic insulator heterostructures.

“We think this approach for inducing magnetism in topological insulators is the most promising for future breakthroughs, because the magnetism and topology can be individually tuned in two different materials, thereby optimizing both to our advantage,” says co-author Matt Gebert (FLEET/Monash).

The research has been published in the journal Advanced Materials.


 

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