Review Article | Published:

Magnetism in two-dimensional van der Waals materials

Naturevolume 563pages4752 (2018) | Download Citation


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).

Reviewer information

Nature thanks M. Katsnelson and the other anonymous reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.

Author information


  1. Physics Department, Boston College, Boston, MA, USA

    • Kenneth S. Burch
  2. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN, USA

    • David Mandrus
  3. Materials Science and Technology Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN, USA

    • David Mandrus
  4. Center for Correlated Electron Systems, Institute for Basic Science, Seoul, South Korea

    • Je-Geun Park
  5. Department of Physics and Astronomy, Seoul National University, Seoul, South Korea

    • Je-Geun Park


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J.-G.P. initiated the project and all authors wrote the manuscript.

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The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Je-Geun Park.

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