Electric-field control of magnetism in a few-layered van der Waals ferromagnetic semiconductor

Nat Nanotechnol. 2018 Jul;13(7):554-559. doi: 10.1038/s41565-018-0186-z. Epub 2018 Jul 2.


Manipulating a quantum state via electrostatic gating has been of great importance for many model systems in nanoelectronics. Until now, however, controlling the electron spins or, more specifically, the magnetism of a system by electric-field tuning has proven challenging1-4. Recently, atomically thin magnetic semiconductors have attracted significant attention due to their emerging new physical phenomena5-13. However, many issues are yet to be resolved to convincingly demonstrate gate-controllable magnetism in these two-dimensional materials. Here, we show that, via electrostatic gating, a strong field effect can be observed in devices based on few-layered ferromagnetic semiconducting Cr2Ge2Te6. At different gate doping, micro-area Kerr measurements in the studied devices demonstrate bipolar tunable magnetization loops below the Curie temperature, which is tentatively attributed to the moment rebalance in the spin-polarized band structure. Our findings of electric-field-controlled magnetism in van der Waals magnets show possibilities for potential applications in new-generation magnetic memory storage, sensors and spintronics.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't