There is an urgent need for the development in the field of the magnetism of topological insulators, owing to the necessity for the realization of the quantum anomalous Hall effect. Herein, we discuss experimentally fabricated nanostructured hierarchical architectures of the topological insulator Bi2Te3 without the introduction of any exotic magnetic dopants, in which intriguing room-temperature ferromagnetism was identified. First-principles calculations demonstrated that the intrinsic point defect with respect to the antisite Te site is responsible for the creation of a magnetic moment. Such a mechanism, which is different from that of a vacancy defect, provides new insights into the origins of magnetism. Our findings may pave the way for developing future Bi2Te3-based dissipationless spintronics and fault-tolerant quantum computation.
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