Magnetic anisotropy in ferromagnetic CrI3

Lebing Chen, Jae Ho Chung, Tong Chen, Chunruo Duan, Astrid Schneidewind, Igor Radelytskyi, David J. Voneshen, Russell A. Ewings, Matthew B. Stone, Alexander I. Kolesnikov, Barry Winn, Songxue Chi, R. A. Mole, D. H. Yu, Bin Gao, Pengcheng Dai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

71 Citations (Scopus)


We use neutron scattering to show that ferromagnetic (FM) phase transition in the two-dimensional (2D) honeycomb lattice CrI3 is a weakly first order transition and controlled by spin-orbit coupling (SOC) induced magnetic anisotropy, instead of magnetic exchange coupling as in a conventional ferromagnet. With increasing temperature, the magnitude of magnetic anisotropy, seen as a spin gap at the Brillouin zone center, decreases in a power law fashion and vanishes at TC, while the in-plane and c-axis spin-wave stiffnesses associated with magnetic exchange couplings remain robust at TC. We also compare parameter regimes where spin waves in CrI3 can be described by a Heisenberg Hamiltonian with Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction or a Heisenberg-Kitaev Hamiltonian. These results suggest that the SOC induced magnetic anisotropy plays a dominant role in stabilizing the FM order in single layer 2D van der Waals ferromagnets.

Original languageEnglish
Article number134418
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number13
Publication statusPublished - 2020 Apr 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 American Physical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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