A quantized version of the magnetoelectric effect, known as the topological magnetoelectric effect, can exist in a time-reversal invariant topological insulator with all its surface states gapped out by magnetism. This topological phase, called the axion insulator phase, has been theoretically proposed but still lacks conclusive experimental evidence due to the small signal of topological magnetoelectric effect. In this work, we propose that the dynamical in-plane magnetization in an axion insulator can generate a pseudoelectric field, which acts on the surface state of topological insulator films and leads to the nonzero response current. Strikingly, we find that the current at magnetic resonance (either ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic) is larger than that of topological magnetoelectric effect by several orders of magnitude and thereby serves as evidence to confirm the axion insulator phase in the candidate materials.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics