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Spin-orbit quantum impurity in a topological magnet.

Abstract

Quantum states induced by single-atomic impurities are at the frontier of physics and material science. While such states have been reported in high-temperature superconductors and dilute magnetic semiconductors, they are unexplored in topological magnets which can feature spin-orbit tunability. Here we use spin-polarized scanning tunneling microscopy/spectroscopy (STM/S) to study the engineered quantum impurity in a topological magnet Co3Sn2S2. We find that each substituted In impurity introduces a striking localized bound state. Our systematic magnetization-polarized probe reveals that this bound state is spin-down polarized, in lock with a negative orbital magnetization. Moreover, the magnetic bound states of neighboring impurities interact to form quantized orbitals, exhibiting an intriguing spin-orbit splitting, analogous to the splitting of the topological fermion line. Our work collectively demonstrates the strong spin-orbit effect of the single-atomic impurity at the quantum level, suggesting that a nonmagnetic impurity can introduce spin-orbit coupled magnetic resonance in topological magnets.

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