Giant anisotropic magnetoresistance in a quantum anomalous Hall insulator

Nat Commun. 2015 Jul 7;6:7434. doi: 10.1038/ncomms8434.


When a three-dimensional ferromagnetic topological insulator thin film is magnetized out-of-plane, conduction ideally occurs through dissipationless, one-dimensional (1D) chiral states that are characterized by a quantized, zero-field Hall conductance. The recent realization of this phenomenon, the quantum anomalous Hall effect, provides a conceptually new platform for studies of 1D transport, distinct from the traditionally studied quantum Hall effects that arise from Landau level formation. An important question arises in this context: how do these 1D edge states evolve as the magnetization is changed from out-of-plane to in-plane? We examine this question by studying the field-tilt-driven crossover from predominantly edge-state transport to diffusive transport in Crx(Bi,Sb)(2-x)Te3 thin films. This crossover manifests itself in a giant, electrically tunable anisotropic magnetoresistance that we explain by employing a Landauer-Büttiker formalism. Our methodology provides a powerful means of quantifying dissipative effects in temperature and chemical potential regimes far from perfect quantization.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.