Emergence of electric-field-tunable interfacial ferromagnetism in 2D antiferromagnet heterostructures

Guanghui Cheng, Mohammad Mushfiqur Rahman, Zhiping He, Andres Llacsahuanga Allcca, Avinash Rustagi, Kirstine Aggerbeck Stampe, Yanglin Zhu, Shaohua Yan, Shangjie Tian, Zhiqiang Mao, Hechang Lei, Kenji Watanabe, Takashi Taniguchi, Pramey Upadhyaya, Yong P. Chen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/Conference contribution in journal/Contribution to newspaperJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Van der Waals (vdW) magnet heterostructures have emerged as new platforms to explore exotic magnetic orders and quantum phenomena. Here, we study heterostructures of layered antiferromagnets, CrI3 and CrCl3, with perpendicular and in-plane magnetic anisotropy, respectively. Using magneto-optical Kerr effect microscopy, we demonstrate out-of-plane magnetic order in the CrCl3 layer proximal to CrI3, with ferromagnetic interfacial coupling between the two. Such an interlayer exchange field leads to higher critical temperature than that of either CrI3 or CrCl3 alone. We further demonstrate significant electric-field control of the coercivity, attributed to the naturally broken structural inversion symmetry of the heterostructure allowing unprecedented direct coupling between electric field and interfacial magnetism. These findings illustrate the opportunity to explore exotic magnetic phases and engineer spintronic devices in vdW heterostructures.

Original languageEnglish
Article number7348
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2022


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