Two-dimensional ferromagnetic spin-orbital excitations in honeycomb VI3

H. Lane, E. Pachoud, J. A. Rodriguez-Rivera, M. Songvilay, G. Xu, P. M. Gehring, J. P. Attfield, R. A. Ewings, C. Stock

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VI3 is a ferromagnet with planar honeycomb sheets of bonded V3+ ions held together by van der Waals forces. We apply neutron spectroscopy to measure the two-dimensional (J/Jc≈17) magnetic excitations in the ferromagnetic phase, finding two energetically gapped (Δ≈kBTc≈55K) and dispersive excitations. We apply a multilevel spin-wave formalism to describe the spectra in terms of two coexisting domains hosting differing V3+ orbital ground states built from contrasting distorted octahedral environments. This analysis fits a common nearest-neighbor in-plane exchange coupling (J=−8.6±0.3meV) between V3+ sites. The distorted local crystalline electric field combined with spin-orbit coupling provides the needed magnetic anisotropy for spatially long-ranged two-dimensional ferromagnetism in VI3.
Original languageEnglish
Article numberL020411
Pages (from-to)1-7
Number of pages7
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 20 Jul 2021


  • cond-mat.str-el


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