Magnetoelectric and chiral effects in 2D magnetic crystals
The newly discovered 2D magnetic van-der-Waals crystals are attracting enormous attention due to their exotic spin-related phenomena and vast potential for spintronic applications. Their atomically thin nature is offering unprecedented opportunities for controlling magnetism and spin-related properties by electrical means as well as by layer-stacking engineering, two particularly promising aspects for applications. Understanding the microscopic mechanisms enabling such control is critical for the design and development of novel devices based on 2D magnetic materials. First-principles density-functional-theory approaches make possible exploring at the atomic scale such spin-related phenomena and the magnetoelectric and spin-lattice effects enabling their control, in order to identify the underlying microscopic mechanisms. I will discuss first-principles results on two such effects: the switching of 2D magnetism by electrostatic doping and the impact of structural chirality on the spin polarization in a 2D ferromagnet. Both highlight the rich interplay of spin-orbit interaction with electronic charge, orbital, and structural degrees of freedom in establishing the effects.