Date of this Version
Published in Nano Lett. 2023, 23, 3781−3787. DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.3c00047
Van der Waals (vdW) assembly allows controlling symmetry of two-dimensional (2D) materials that determines their physical properties. Especially interesting is the recently demonstrated breaking inversion symmetry by polar layer stacking to realize novel electronic, magnetic, and transport properties of 2D vdW materials switchable by induced electric polarization. Here, based on symmetry analyses and density-functional calculations, we explore the emergence of the anomalous Hall effect (AHE) in antiferromagnetic MnBi2Te4 films assembled by polar layer stacking. We demonstrate that breaking 𝑃̂ 𝑇̂ symmetry in an MnBi2Te4 bilayer makes this 2D material magnetoelectric and produces a spontaneous AHE switchable by electric polarization. We find that reversable polarization at one of the interfaces in a three-layer MnBi2Te4 film drives a metal-insulator transition, as well as switching between an AHE and quantum AHE (QAHE). Finally, we predict that engineering an interlayer polarization in a three-layer MnBi2Te4 film allows converting MnBi2Te4 from a trivial insulator to a Chern insulator. Overall, our work emphasizes the emergence of quantum-transport phenomena in 2D vdW antiferromagnets by polar layer stacking, which do not exist in this material in the bulk or bulk-like thin-film forms.