Exchange Bias and Interface-related Effects in Two-dimensional van der Waals Magnetic Heterostructures: Open Questions and Perspectives
The exchange bias (EB) effect is known as a fundamentally and technologically important magnetic property of a magnetic bilayer film. It is manifested as a horizontal shift in a magnetic hysteresis loop of a film subject to cooling in the presence of a magnetic field. The EB effect in van der Waals (vdW) heterostructures offers a novel approach for tuning the magnetic properties of the newly discovered single-layer magnets, as well as adds a new impetus to magnetic vdW heterostructures. Indeed, intriguing EB effects have recently been reported in a variety of low-dimensional vdW magnetic systems ranging from a weakly interlayer-coupled vdW magnet (e.g., Fe3GeTe2) to a bilayer composed of two different magnetic vdW materials (e.g., Fe3GeTe2/CrCl3, Fe3GeTe2/FePS3, Fe3GeTe2/MnPS3), to bilayers of two different vdW defective magnets (e.g., VSe2/MoS2), or to metallic ferromagnet/vdW defective magnet interfaces (e.g., Fe/MoS2). Despite their huge potential in spintronic device applications, the physical origins of the observed EB effects have remained elusive to researchers. We present here a critical review of the EB effect and associated phenomena such as magnetic proximity (MP) in various vdW heterostructure systems and propose approaches to addressing some of the emerging fundamental questions.