Tailoring magnetic order via atomically stacking 3d/5d electrons to achieve high-performance spintronic devices

Authors: Ke Huang, Liang Wu, Maoyu Wang, Nyayabanta Swain, M. Motapothula, Yongzheng Luo, Kun Han, Mingfeng Chen, Chen Ye, Allen Jian Yang, Huan Xu, Dong-chen Qi, Alpha T. N'Diaye, Christos Panagopoulos, Daniel Primetzhofer, Lei Shen, Pinaki Sengupta, Jing Ma, Zhenxing Feng, Ce-Wen Nan, and X. Renshaw Wang

Published in: Applied Physics Reviews 7, 011401, 2020.

The ability to tune magnetic orders, such as magnetic anisotropy and topological spin texture, is desired to achieve high-performance spintronic devices. A recent strategy has been to employ interfacial engineering techniques, such as the introduction of spin-correlated interfacial coupling, to tailor magnetic orders and achieve novel magnetic properties. We chose a unique polar–nonpolar LaMnO3/SrIrO3 superlattice because Mn (3d)/Ir (5d) oxides exhibit rich magnetic behaviors and strong spin–orbit coupling through the entanglement of their 3d and 5d electrons. Through magnetization and magnetotransport measurements, we found that the magnetic order is interface-dominated as the superlattice period is decreased. We were able to then effectively modify the magnetization, tilt of the ferromagnetic easy axis, and symmetry transition of the anisotropic magnetoresistance of the LaMnO3/SrIrO3 superlattice by introducing additional Mn (3d) and Ir (5d) interfaces. Further investigations using in-depth first-principles calculations and numerical simulations revealed that these magnetic behaviors could be understood by the 3d/5d electron correlation and Rashba spin–orbit coupling. The results reported here demonstrate a new route to synchronously engineer magnetic properties through the atomic stacking of different electrons, which would contribute to future applications in high-capacity storage devices and advanced computing.

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