Hinge Spin Polarization in Magnetic Topological Insulators Revealed by Resistance Switch

We report on the possibility of detecting hinge spin polarization in magnetic topological insulators by resistance measurements. By implementing a three-dimensional model of magnetic topological insulators into a multiterminal device with ferromagnetic contacts near the top surface, local spin features of the chiral edge modes are unveiled. We find local spin polarization at the hinges that inverts the sign between the top and bottom surfaces. At the opposite edge, the topological state with inverted spin polarization propagates in the reverse direction. A large resistance switch between forward and backward propagating states is obtained, driven by the matching between the spin polarized hinges and the ferromagnetic contacts. This feature is general to the ferromagnetic, antiferromagnetic, and canted antiferromagnetic phases, and enables the design of spin-sensitive devices, with the possibility of reversing the hinge spin polarization of the currents.

Phys. Rev. Lett. 126, 167701 (2021).

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