Spin photovoltaic effect in magnetic van der Waals heterostructures

Tiancheng Song, Eric Anderson, Matisse Wei Yuan Tu, Kyle Seyler, Takashi Taniguchi, Kenji Watanabe, Michael A. McGuire, Xiaosong Li, Ting Cao, Di Xiao, Wang Yao, Xiaodong Xu*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


The development of van der Waals (vdW) crystals and their heterostructures has created a fascinating platform for exploring optoelectronic properties in the two-dimensional (2D) limit. With the recent discovery of 2D magnets, the control of the spin degree of freedom can be integrated to realize 2D spin-optoelectronics. Here, we report spin photovoltaic effects in vdW heterostructures of 2D magnet chromium triiodide (CrI3) sandwiched by graphene contacts. The photocurrent displays a distinct dependence on light helicity, which can be tuned by varying the magnetic states and photon energy. Circular polarization-resolved absorption measurements reveal that these observations originate from magnetic order-coupled and, thus, helicity-dependent charge-transfer excitons. The photocurrent displays multiple plateaus as the magnetic field is swept, associated with different CrI3 spin configurations. Giant photo-magnetocurrent is observed, which tends to infinity for a small applied bias. Our results pave the way to explore emergent photospintronics by engineering magnetic vdW heterostructures.

Original languageAmerican English
Article numberabg8094
JournalScience advances
Issue number36
StatePublished - Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes

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