Electrical generation and detection of spin waves in a quantum Hall ferromagnet

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Science  12 Oct 2018:
Vol. 362, Issue 6411, pp. 229-233
DOI: 10.1126/science.aar4061

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Magnons propagating in graphene

At sufficiently low temperatures, a two-dimensional electron system placed in an external magnetic field can exhibit the so-called quantum Hall effect. In this regime, a variety of magnetic phases may occur, depending on the electron density and other factors. Wei et al. studied the properties of these exotic magnetic phases in graphene. They generated magnons—the excitations of an ordered magnetic system—that were then absorbed by the sample, leaving a mark on its electrical conductance. The magnons were able to propagate across long distances through various magnetic phases in the bulk graphene.

Science, this issue p. 229


Spin waves are collective excitations of magnetic systems. An attractive setting for studying long-lived spin-wave physics is the quantum Hall (QH) ferromagnet, which forms spontaneously in clean two-dimensional electron systems at low temperature and in a perpendicular magnetic field. We used out-of-equilibrium occupation of QH edge channels in graphene to excite and detect spin waves in magnetically ordered QH states. Our experiments provide direct evidence for long-distance spin-wave propagation through different ferromagnetic phases in the N = 0 Landau level, as well as across the insulating canted antiferromagnetic phase. Our results will enable experimental investigation of the fundamental magnetic properties of these exotic two-dimensional electron systems.

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