Chin. Phys. Lett.  2020, Vol. 37 Issue (7): 077304    DOI: 10.1088/0256-307X/37/7/077304
Large Dynamical Axion Field in Topological Antiferromagnetic Insulator Mn$_2$Bi$_2$Te$_5$
Jinlong Zhang1†, Dinghui Wang2†, Minji Shi2†, Tongshuai Zhu2, Haijun Zhang2,3*, Jing Wang1,3,4*
1State Key Laboratory of Surface Physics, Department of Physics, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
2National Laboratory of Solid State Microstructures, School of Physics, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
3Collaborative Innovation Center of Advanced Microstructures, Nanjing 210093, China
4Institute for Nanoelectronic Devices and Quantum Computing, Fudan University, Shanghai 200433, China
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Jinlong Zhang, Dinghui Wang, Minji Shi et al  2020 Chin. Phys. Lett. 37 077304
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Abstract The dynamical axion field is a new state of quantum matter where the magnetoelectric response couples strongly to its low-energy magnetic fluctuations. It is fundamentally different from an axion insulator with a static quantized magnetoelectric response. The dynamical axion field exhibits many exotic phenomena such as axionic polariton and axion instability. However, these effects have not been experimentally confirmed due to the lack of proper topological magnetic materials. Combining analytic models and first-principles calculations, here we predict a series of van der Waals layered Mn$_2$Bi$_2$Te$_5$-related topological antiferromagnetic materials that could host the long-sought dynamical axion field with a topological origin. We also show that a large dynamical axion field can be achieved in antiferromagnetic insulating states close to the topological phase transition. We further propose the optical and transport experiments to detect such a dynamical axion field. Our results could directly aid and facilitate the search for topological-origin large dynamical axion field in realistic materials.
Received: 11 June 2020      Published: 18 June 2020
PACS:  73.20.-r (Electron states at surfaces and interfaces)  
  75.70.-i (Magnetic properties of thin films, surfaces, and interfaces)  
  14.80.Va (Axions and other Nambu-Goldstone bosons (Majorons, familons, etc.))  
Fund: Supported by the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities (Grant No. 020414380149), the Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant Nos. 11674165, 11834006 and 11774065), the Fok Ying-Tong Education Foundation of China (Grant No. 161006), the National Key R&D Program of China (Grant Nos. 2016YFA0300703 and 2019YFA0308404), the Shanghai Municipal Science and Technology Major Project (Grant No. 2019SHZDZX04), the Natural Science Foundation of Shanghai (Grant No. 19ZR1471400).
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Jinlong Zhang
Dinghui Wang
Minji Shi
Tongshuai Zhu
Haijun Zhang
Jing Wang
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