The discovery of materials has often introduced new physical paradigms and enabled the development of novel devices. Two-dimensional magnetism, which is associated with strong intrinsic spin fluctuations, has long been the focus of fundamental questions in condensed matter physics regarding our understanding and control of new phases. Here we discuss magnetic van der Waals materials: two-dimensional atomic crystals that contain magnetic elements and thus exhibit intrinsic magnetic properties. These cleavable materials provide the ideal platform for exploring magnetism in the two-dimensional limit, where new physical phenomena are expected, and represent a substantial shift in our ability to control and investigate nanoscale phases. We present the theoretical background and motivation for investigating this class of crystals, describe the material landscape and the current experimental status of measurement techniques as well as devices, and discuss promising future directions for the study of magnetic van der Waals materials.
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We acknowledge useful discussions with D. Xiao and X. Xu. K.S.B. was supported by the National Science Foundation through grant DMR-1709987 and D.M. acknowledges support from the National Science Foundation under grant DMR-1410428. J.-G.P. was supported by the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) of Korea (IBS-R009-G1).
Nature thanks M. Katsnelson and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Burch, K.S., Mandrus, D. & Park, JG. Magnetism in two-dimensional van der Waals materials. Nature 563, 47–52 (2018). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-018-0631-z
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