Mn2C monolayer: a 2D antiferromagnetic metal with high Néel temperature and large spin–orbit coupling†
To realize antiferromagnetic spintronics in the nanoscale, it is highly desirable to identify new nanometer-scale antiferromagnetic metals with both high Néel temperature and large spin–orbit coupling. In this work, on the basis of first-principles calculation and particle swarm optimization (PSO) global structure search, we demonstrate that a two-dimensional Mn2C monolayer is an antiferromagnetic metal with a Mn magnetic moment of ∼3μB. Mn2C monolayer has an anti-site structure of MoS2 sheet with carbon atoms hexagonally coordinated by neighboring Mn atoms. Remarkably, the in-plane carrier mobility of 2D Mn2C is highly anisotropic, amounting to about 47 000 cm2 V−1 s−1 in the a′ direction, which is much higher than that of MoS2 monolayer. The Néel temperature of Mn2C monolayer is high up to 720 K. Due to strong spin–orbit coupling in plane, the magnetic anisotropy energy of Mn2C monolayer is larger than those of pure metals, such as Fe, Co, and Ni. These advantages render 2D Mn2C sheet with great potential applications in nanometer-scale antiferromagnetic spintronics.