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A wide class of materials that were discovered to carry a topologically protected phase order has led to a highly active area of research called topological insulators (TIs). This phenomenon has radically changed our thinking because of the robust quantum coherent behavior showing two-dimensional Dirac-type metallic surface states (SSs) and simultaneously insulating bulk states. The Dirac SSs are induced by the strong spin–orbit coupling as well as protected by time reversal symmetry (TRS). Breaking TRS in a TI with ferromagnetic perturbation can lead to many exotic quantum phenomena, such as the quantum anomalous Hall effect, topological magnetoelectric effect, as well as image magnetic monopole. This article presents an overview of the current status of TRS breaking in TIs and outlines the prospects for future studies.
Organic materials provide a unique platform for exploiting the spin of the electron—a field dubbed organic spintronics. Originally, this was mostly motivated by the notion that because of weak spin-orbit coupling, due to the small mass elements in organics and small hyperfine field coupling, organic matter typically displays a very long electron spin coherence time. More recently, however, it was found that organics provide a special class of spintronic materials for many other reasons—several of which are discussed throughout this issue. Over the past decade, there has been a growing interest in utilizing the molecular spin state as a quantum of information, aiming to develop multifunctional molecular spintronics for memory, sensing, and logic applications. The aim of this issue is to stimulate the interest of researchers by bringing to their attention the vast possibilities not only for unexpected science but also for the enormous potential for developing new functionalities and applications. The six articles in this issue deal with some of the breakthrough work that has been ongoing in this field in recent years.
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