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Two-Dimensional Magnetoelectronic Van der Waals Compounds: Make, Measure, and Investigate

Dismukes, Avalon Hope

The evolution of electronics has become the staple thrust of modern scientific innovation: a need for advancing materials engineered for our equally rapidly advancing needs and computing requirements has fueled recent wealth of new materials. Here, I use the ideals of exotic materials design to answer this need, specifically for 2D materials. Two-dimensional (2D) van der Waals materials with in-plane anisotropy are of great interest for directional transport of charge and energy. I perform solid state synthesis to produce several such materials: an intrinsic antiferromagnet, superatomic semiconductors, and a polytype system with a component that displays the possibilities of Weyl nodes.The former, chromium sulfur bromide (CrSBr), is first synthesized, then fully studied structurally, compositionally, electronically, and magnetically.

Second harmonic generation (SHG), more advanced than older techniques such as magneto-optical Kerr spectroscopy or Raman spectroscopy, allows us to fully understand the magnetic symmetry in this system as an interlayer antiferromagnetic and intralayer ferromagnetic in-plane anisotropic material. I also introduce published work in which we integrate CrSBr into different devices to show the utility of this fundamental research into a more practical application setting. It is used to stimulate more magnetic response from graphene — promising ultra-thin magnetic memory or sensory devices in future projects. Applying strain and external magnetic fields provides another tuning knob through which to access different functional modalities. In the latter third of this dissertation, we report a layered van der Waals semiconductor with in-plane anisotropy built upon the superatomic units of Mo₆S₃Br₆ (MSB), a robust construction with a direct gap of 1.64 eV. Next, MSB and Re₆Se₈Cl₂, another analogous superatomic vdW material, are potential candidates for optoelectronic applications; we qualify this by studying their Auger dynamics as a measure of quantum efficiency.

Finally, layered van der Waals (vdW) materials belonging to the MM’Te₄ structure class have recently received intense attention due to their ability to host exotic electronic transport phenomena, such as in-plane transport anisotropy, Weyl nodes, and superconductivity. In summary, we have discovered two ternary exfoliatable vdW TMD polytypes with the composition TaFeTe₄, one of which (ꞵ) shows the prerequisite symmetry elements to be a type-II Weyl semimetal.

This dissertation is a treatise to solid state synthesis, exploration into the more exotic spectrum of 2D materials, and robust and eclectic methods used to paint a full picture of different magnetic and electronic systems within.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Thesis Advisors
Roy, Xavier Sylvain
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
October 13, 2021