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Journal Article

Light-driven topological and magnetic phase transitions in thin layer antiferromagnets


Ernst,  Arthur       
Nano-Systems from Ions, Spins and Electrons, Max Planck Institute of Microstructure Physics, Max Planck Society;

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Rodriguez-Vega, M., Lin, Z.-X., Leonardo, A., Ernst, A., Vergniory, M. G., & Fiete, G. A. (2022). Light-driven topological and magnetic phase transitions in thin layer antiferromagnets. The Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters, 13(18), 4152-4158. doi:10.1021/acs.jpclett.2c00070.

Cite as: https://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-000A-9098-7
We theoretically study the effect of low-frequency light pulses in resonance with phonons in the topological and magnetically ordered two-septuple layer (2-SL) MnBi2Te4 (MBT) and MnSb2Te4 (MST). These materials share symmetry properties and an antiferromagnetic ground state in pristine form but present different magnetic exchange interactions. In both materials, shear and breathing Raman phonons can be excited via nonlinear interactions with photoexcited infrared phonons using intense laser pulses that can be attained in the current experimental setups. The light-induced transient lattice distortions lead to a change in the sign of the effective interlayer exchange interaction and magnetic order accompanied by a topological band transition. Furthermore, we show that moderate antisite disorder, typically present in MBT and MST samples, can facilitate such an effect. Therefore, our work establishes 2-SL MBT and MST as candidate platforms for achieving non-equilibrium magneto-topological phase transitions.