Exploring magnetism in van der Waals materials
Van der Waals (vdW) materials are highly anisotropic materials consisting of layers bonded by weak vdW interactions that allow for the possibility to be cleaved into very thin specimens, down to a monolayer thickness. Of particular contemporary interest are magnetic vdW materials as they are the ideal platform for exploring magnetism in the 2D limit. Magnetic order in 2D, which is associated with strong intrinsic spin fluctuations, can only happen if there is no continuous rotational symmetry, and gapping low-energy modes through magnetic anisotropy is essential for stabilizing long-range correlations. Since this anisotropy can be introduced in the magnetic system by, e.g. spin-orbit coupling or lattice distortions, the family of 2D vdW magnets with magnetically ordered phases is quite large and many novel materials are to be expected. Therefore, explorative work should be performed in order to enhance the playing field. This project will focus on the synthesis and structural characterization of (new) various compounds, as well as on studying their magnetic properties.
This project is related to Pillar 2 of QuMAT as it strives to provide an understanding of magnetism in van der Waals materials.