Unusual Intralayer Ferromagnetism Between S = 5/2 ions in MnBi$_2$Te$_4$: Role of Empty Bi $p$ States

14 Mar 2020 Li Jing Ni J. Y. Li X. Y. Koo H. -J. Whangbo M. -H. Feng J. S. Xiang H. J.

The layered magnetic topological insulator MnBi$_2$Te$_4$ is a promising platform to realize the quantum anomalous Hall effect because its layers possess intrinsic ferromagnetism. However, it is not well understood why the high-spin $d^5$ magnetic ions Mn$^{2+}$ forming the Mn-Te-Mn spin exchange paths prefer ferromagnetic (FM) coupling, contrary to the prediction of the Goodenough-Kanamori rule that a TM-L-TM spin exchange, where TM and L are a transition-metal magnetic cation and a main group ligand, respectively, is antiferromagnetic (AFM) even when the bond angle of the exchange path is 90$^{\circ}$... (read more)

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