Spin-orbit quantum impurity in a topological magnet

Jia Xin Yin, Nana Shumiya, Yuxiao Jiang, Huibin Zhou, Gennevieve Macam, Hano Omar Mohammad Sura, Songtian S. Zhang, Zi Jia Cheng, Zurab Guguchia, Yangmu Li, Qi Wang, Maksim Litskevich, Ilya Belopolski, Xian P. Yang, Tyler A. Cochran, Guoqing Chang, Qi Zhang, Zhi Quan Huang, Feng Chuan Chuang, Hsin LinHechang Lei, Brian M. Andersen, Ziqiang Wang, Shuang Jia, M. Zahid Hasan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Quantum states induced by single-atomic impurities are at the frontier of physics and material science. While such states have been reported in high-temperature superconductors and dilute magnetic semiconductors, they are unexplored in topological magnets which can feature spin-orbit tunability. Here we use spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/S) to study the engineered quantum impurity in a topological magnet Co3Sn2S2. We find that each substituted In impurity introduces a striking localized bound state. Our systematic magnetization-polarized probe reveals that this bound state is spin-down polarized, in lock with a negative orbital magnetization. Moreover, the magnetic bound states of neighboring impurities interact to form quantized orbitals, exhibiting an intriguing spin-orbit splitting, analogous to the splitting of the topological fermion line. Our work collectively demonstrates the strong spin-orbit effect of the single-atomic impurity at the quantum level, suggesting that a nonmagnetic impurity can introduce spin-orbit coupled magnetic resonance in topological magnets.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4415
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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