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Highly Tunable Magnetic Phases in Transition-Metal Dichalcogenide Fe1/3+δNbS2...

by Adam A Aczel
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Journal Name
Physical Review X
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Layered transition-metal dichalcogenides (TMDCs) host a plethora of interesting physical phenomena ranging from charge order to superconductivity. By introducing magnetic ions into 2H−TA2 (T=Nb, Ta; A=S, Se), the material forms a family of magnetic intercalated TMDCs MxTA2 (M=3d transition metal). Recently, Fe1/3+δNbS2 has been found to possess intriguing resistance switching and magnetic memory effects coupled to the Néel temperature of TN∼45  K [Maniv et al., Nat. Phys. 17, 525 (2021); Sci. Adv. 7, eabd8452 (2021)]. We present comprehensive single crystal neutron diffraction measurements on underintercalated (δ∼−0.01), stoichiometric, and overintercalated (δ∼0.01) samples. Magnetic defects are usually considered to suppress magnetic correlations and, concomitantly, transition temperatures. Instead, we observe highly tunable magnetic long-ranged states as the Fe concentration is varied from underintercalated to overintercalated, that is, from Fe vacancies to Fe interstitials. The under- and overintercalated samples reveal distinct antiferromagnetic stripe and zigzag orders, associated with wave vectors k1=(0.5,0,0) and k2=(0.25,0.5,0), respectively. The stoichiometric sample shows two successive magnetic phase transitions for these two wave vectors with an unusual rise-and-fall feature in the intensities connected to k1. We ascribe this sensitive tunability to the competing next-nearest neighbor exchange interactions and the oscillatory nature of the Ruderman-Kittel-Kasuya-Yosida mechanism. We discuss experimental observations that relate to the observed intriguing switching resistance behaviors. Our discovery of a magnetic defect tuning of the magnetic structure in bulk crystals Fe1/3+δNbS2 provides a possible new avenue to implement controllable antiferromagnetic spintronic devices.