Experimental Observation of the Quantum Anomalous Hall Effect in a Magnetic Topological Insulator

Science  12 Apr 2013:
Vol. 340, Issue 6129, pp. 167-170
DOI: 10.1126/science.1234414

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Quantized and Anomalous

The Hall effect, an electromagnetic phenomenon with a straightforward explanation, has many exotic counterparts, including a quantized version occurring independently of the presence of external magnetic fields. Inspired by a theoretical prediction of the quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) effect in magnetically doped topological insulator thin films, Chang et al. (p. 167, published online 14 March; see the Perspective by Oh) prepared thin films of the compound Cr0.15(Bi0.1Sb0.9)1.85Te3, with Cr as the magnetic dopant. They observed a plateau in the Hall resistance as a function of the gating voltage without any applied magnetic fields, signifying the achievement of the QAH state.


The quantized version of the anomalous Hall effect has been predicted to occur in magnetic topological insulators, but the experimental realization has been challenging. Here, we report the observation of the quantum anomalous Hall (QAH) effect in thin films of chromium-doped (Bi,Sb)2Te3, a magnetic topological insulator. At zero magnetic field, the gate-tuned anomalous Hall resistance reaches the predicted quantized value of h/e2, accompanied by a considerable drop in the longitudinal resistance. Under a strong magnetic field, the longitudinal resistance vanishes, whereas the Hall resistance remains at the quantized value. The realization of the QAH effect may lead to the development of low-power-consumption electronics.

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