Magnetic van der Waals (vdW) materials composed of two-dimensional (2D) layers bonded to one another through weak interactions exhibit promising potentials for high-tech magnetic, magneto-electric, and magneto-optic applications in nanostructures. Due to their intrinsic magnetocrystalline anisotropy, several vdW magnets could be thinned down to nanoscale thickness, while still maintaining magnetism. Prominent examples of such materials are transition metal trihalides, in particular CrI3, a first atomically thin ferromagnet, realized in 2017.
Recently, VI3 has been found to belong among 2D ferromagnets at temperatures below 50K. It is a semiconductor undergoing a subtle structural phase transition at 78K. Furthermore, its magnetic anisotropy exhibits rather unusual features. We have studied its properties by first principles calculations and reproduced the unusual magnetic anisotropy. Its properties have been linked to lattice distortions present at some of its low temperature phases.
- M. A. McGuire, Crystals 7, 121 (2017).
- W. Zhang, et al., InfoMat 1, 479 (2019).
- B. Huang, et al., Nature 546, 270 (2017).
- G. T. Lin, et al., Appl. Phys. Lett. 112, 072405 (2018).
- C. Gong, et al., Nature 546, 265 (2017).
- S. Tian, et al., JACS 141, 5326−5333 (2019).
- S. Son, et al., Phys. Rev. B 99, 041402(R) (2019).
- T. Kong, et al., Adv. Mater. 31, 1808074 (2019).
- P. Doležal, et al., Phys. Rev. Mat. 3, 121401(R) (2019)
- J. Valenta et al., Phys. Rev. B 103, 054424 (2021)  K. Yang, et al., Phys. Rev. B 101, 100402 (2020).
- J. L. Lado and J. F. Rossier, 2D Mater. 4, 035002 (2017).
- J. Yan, et al., Phys. Rev. B 100, 094402 (2019).
- A. Koriki et al., under review in PRB