Research ArticleENGINEERING

Van der Waals engineering of ferromagnetic semiconductor heterostructures for spin and valleytronics

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science Advances  31 May 2017:
Vol. 3, no. 5, e1603113
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1603113


The integration of magnetic material with semiconductors has been fertile ground for fundamental science as well as of great practical interest toward the seamless integration of information processing and storage. We create van der Waals heterostructures formed by an ultrathin ferromagnetic semiconductor CrI3 and a monolayer of WSe2. We observe unprecedented control of the spin and valley pseudospin in WSe2, where we detect a large magnetic exchange field of nearly 13 T and rapid switching of the WSe2 valley splitting and polarization via flipping of the CrI3 magnetization. The WSe2 photoluminescence intensity strongly depends on the relative alignment between photoexcited spins in WSe2 and the CrI3 magnetization, because of ultrafast spin-dependent charge hopping across the heterostructure interface. The photoluminescence detection of valley pseudospin provides a simple and sensitive method to probe the intriguing domain dynamics in the ultrathin magnet, as well as the rich spin interactions within the heterostructure.

  • van der Waals heterostructure
  • ferromagnetic semiconductor
  • Valleytronics
  • Spintronics
  • 2D materials
  • monolayer semiconductor
  • magnetic proximity effect
  • Exchange interaction
  • ultrafast charge transfer

This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial license, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, so long as the resultant use is not for commercial advantage and provided the original work is properly cited.

View Full Text