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©2015 American Physical Society

Abstract or Description

Layered transition-metal trichalcogenides with the chemical formula ABX3have attracted recent interest as potential candidates for two-dimensional magnets. Using first-principles calculations within density functional theory, we investigate the magnetic ground states of monolayers of Mn- and Cr-based semiconducting trichalcogenides. We show that the second and third nearest-neighbor exchange interactions (J2 and J3) between magnetic ions, which have been largely overlooked in previous theoretical studies, are crucial in determining the magnetic ground state. Specifically, we find that monolayer CrSiTe3 is an antiferromagnet with a zigzag spin texture due to significant contribution from J3, whereas CrGeTe3 is a ferromagnet with a Curie temperature of 106 K. Monolayers of Mn compounds (MnPS3 and MnPSe3) always show antiferromagnetic Néel order. We identify the physical origin of various exchange interactions, and demonstrate that strain can be an effective knob for tuning the magnetic properties. Possible magnetic ordering in the bulk is also discussed. Our study suggests that ABX3 can be a promising platform to explore two-dimensional magnetic phenomena.


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Published In

Physical Review B, 91, 235425.