Magnetism, symmetry and spin transport in van der Waals layered systems

Hidekazu Kurebayashi, Jose H. Garcia, Safe Khan, Jairo Sinova, Stephan Roche

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

74 Scopus citations


The discovery of an ever-increasing family of atomic layered magnetic materials, together with the already established vast catalogue of strong spin–orbit coupling and topological systems, calls for some guiding principles to tailor and optimize novel spin transport and optical properties at their interfaces. Here, we focus on the latest developments in both fields that have brought them closer together and make them ripe for future fruitful synergy. After outlining fundamentals on van der Waals magnetism and spin–orbit coupling effects, we discuss how their coexistence, manipulation and competition could ultimately establish new ways to engineer robust spin textures and drive the generation and dynamics of spin current and magnetization switching in 2D-materials-based van der Waals heterostructures. Grounding our analysis on existing experimental results and theoretical considerations, we draw a prospective analysis about how intertwined magnetism and spin–orbit torque phenomena combine at interfaces with well-defined symmetries and how this dictates the nature and figures of merit of spin–orbit torque and angular momentum transfer. This will serve as a guiding role in designing future non-volatile memory devices that utilize the unique properties of 2D materials with the spin degree of freedom.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)150-166
Number of pages17
JournalNature Reviews Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jan 12 2022
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-05-25
Acknowledged KAUST grant number(s): OSR-2018-CRG7-3717
Acknowledgements: H.K. and S.K. acknowledge support from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) via EP/T006749/1 and also the help from O. Lee for producing the graphical images. S.R. and J.H.G. acknowledge funding from the European Union Seventh Framework Programme under grant no. 881603 (Graphene Flagship) and the King Abdullah University of Science and Technology (KAUST) through award number OSR-2018-CRG7-3717. The Catalan Institute of Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (ICN2) is funded by the CERCA Programme/Generalitat de Catalunya and supported by the Severo Ochoa programme (MINECO grant no. SEV-2017-0706).
This publication acknowledges KAUST support, but has no KAUST affiliated authors.


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