Exotic Magnetism in 2D Ni-Halide Monolayers

Silvia Picozzi, Istituto CNR-SPIN Chieti

October 1, 2021

Topological spin structures, such as magnetic skyrmions, hold great promises for data storage applications, thanks to their inherent stability. In most cases, skyrmions are stabilized by magnetic fields in non-centrosymmetric systems displaying the chiral Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya exchange interaction, while spontaneous skyrmion lattices have been reported in centrosymmetric itinerant magnets with long-range interactions. Here, a spontaneous antibiskyrmion lattice with unique topology and chirality is predicted in the monolayer of a semiconducting and centrosymmetric metal halide, NiI2. Our first-principles and Monte Carlo simulations reveal that the anisotropies of the short-range symmetric exchange, when combined with magnetic frustration, can lead to non-trivial topological spin structures. The proposed mechanism finds a prototypical manifestation in two-dimensional magnets, such as NiI2 monolayers, thus broadening the class of materials that can host spontaneous skyrmionic states.

[1] D. Amoroso, P. Barone, S. Picozzi, Spontaneous skyrmionic lattice from anisotropic symmetric exchange in a Ni-halide monolayer, Nature Communications, 11, 5784 (2020).