Electronic and magnetic properties of monolayer alpha-RuCl3: a first-principles and Monte Carlo study

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Sarikurt S., Kadioglu Y., Ersan F., VATANSEVER E., AKTÜRK O. Ü., YÜKSEL Y., ...More

PHYSICAL CHEMISTRY CHEMICAL PHYSICS, vol.20, no.2, pp.997-1004, 2018 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 20 Issue: 2
  • Publication Date: 2018
  • Doi Number: 10.1039/c7cp07953b
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.997-1004
  • Dokuz Eylül University Affiliated: Yes


Recent experiments revealed that monolayer alpha-RuCl3 can be obtained by a chemical exfoliation method and exfoliation or restacking of nanosheets can manipulate the magnetic properties of the materials. In this paper, the electronic and magnetic properties of an alpha-RuCl3 monolayer are investigated by combining first-principles calculations and Monte Carlo simulations. From first-principles calculations, we found that the spin configuration of FM corresponds to the ground state for alpha-RuCl3, however, the other excited zigzag oriented spin configuration has an energy of 5 meV per atom higher than the ground state. The energy band gap is found to be 3 meV using PBE functionals. When the spin-orbit coupling effect is taken into account, the corresponding energy gap is determined to be 57 meV. We also investigate the effect of the Hubbard U energy terms on the electronic band structure of the alpha-RuCl3 monolayer and revealed that the band gap increases approximately linearly with increasing U value. Moreover, spin-spin coupling terms (J(1), J(2), and J(3)) have been obtained using first-principles calculations. By benefiting from these terms, Monte Carlo simulations with a single site update Metropolis algorithm have been implemented to elucidate the magnetic properties of the considered system. Thermal variations of magnetization, susceptibility and also specific heat curves indicate that monolayer alpha-RuCl3 exhibits a phase transition between ordered and disordered phases at the Curie temperature of 14.21 K. We believe that this study can be utilized to improve two-dimensional magnetic materials.