Electric control of a canted-antiferromagnetic Chern insulator

Jiaqi Cai, Dmitry Ovchinnikov, Zaiyao Fei, Minhao He, Tiancheng Song, Zhong Lin, Chong Wang, David Cobden, Jiun Haw Chu, Yong Tao Cui, Cui Zu Chang, Di Xiao, Jiaqiang Yan, Xiaodong Xu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

28 Scopus citations


The interplay between band topology and magnetism can give rise to exotic states of matter. For example, magnetically doped topological insulators can realize a Chern insulator that exhibits quantized Hall resistance at zero magnetic field. While prior works have focused on ferromagnetic systems, little is known about band topology and its manipulation in antiferromagnets. Here, we report that MnBi2Te4 is a rare platform for realizing a canted-antiferromagnetic (cAFM) Chern insulator with electrical control. We show that the Chern insulator state with Chern number C = 1 appears as the AFM to canted-AFM phase transition happens. The Chern insulator state is further confirmed by observing the unusual transition of the C = 1 state in the cAFM phase to the C = 2 orbital quantum Hall states in the magnetic field induced ferromagnetic phase. Near the cAFM-AFM phase boundary, we show that the dissipationless chiral edge transport can be toggled on and off by applying an electric field alone. We attribute this switching effect to the electrical field tuning of the exchange gap alignment between the top and bottom surfaces. Our work paves the way for future studies on topological cAFM spintronics and facilitates the development of proof-of-concept Chern insulator devices.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1668
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)


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