skip to main content

Title: Insulator-to-conductor transition driven by the Rashba–Zeeman effect
Abstract

The Rashba effect has recently attracted great attention owing to emerging physical properties associated with it. The interplay between the Rashba effect and the Zeeman effect, being produced by the exchange field, is expected to broaden the range of these properties and even result in novel phenomena. Here we predict an insulator-to-conductor transition driven by the Rashba–Zeeman effect. We first illustrate this effect using a general Hamiltonian model and show that the insulator-to-conductor transition can be triggered under certain Rashba and exchange-field strengths. Then, we exemplify this phenomenon by considering an Ag2Te/Cr2O3heterostructure, where the electronic structure of the Ag2Te monolayer is affected across the interface by the proximity effect of the Cr2O3antiferromagnetic layer with well-defined surface magnetization. Based on first-principles calculations, we predict that such a system can be driven into either insulating or conducting phase, depending on the surface magnetization orientation of the Cr2O3layer. Our results enrich the Rashba–Zeeman physics and provide useful guidelines for the realization of the insulator-to-conductor transition, which may be interesting for experimental verification.

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
NSF-PAR ID:
10201324
Journal Name:
npj Computational Materials
Volume:
6
Issue:
1
ISSN:
2057-3960
Publisher:
Nature Publishing Group
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
More Like this
  1. Abstract

    Nonlinear photocurrent in time-reversal invariant noncentrosymmetric systems such as ferroelectric semimetals sparked tremendous interest of utilizing nonlinear optics to characterize condensed matter with exotic phases. Here we provide a microscopic theory of two types of second-order nonlinear direct photocurrents, magnetic shift photocurrent (MSC) and magnetic injection photocurrent (MIC), as the counterparts of normal shift current (NSC) and normal injection current (NIC) in time-reversal symmetry and inversion symmetry broken systems. We show that MSC is mainly governed by shift vector and interband Berry curvature, and MIC is dominated by absorption strength and asymmetry of the group velocity difference at time-reversed ±kpoints. Taking$${\cal{P}}{\cal{T}}$$PT-symmetric magnetic topological quantum material bilayer antiferromagnetic (AFM) MnBi2Te4as an example, we predict the presence of large MIC in the terahertz (THz) frequency regime which can be switched between two AFM states with time-reversed spin orderings upon magnetic transition. In addition, external electric field breaks$${\cal{P}}{\cal{T}}$$PTsymmetry and enables large NSC response in bilayer AFM MnBi2Te4, which can be switched by external electric field. Remarkably, both MIC and NSC are highly tunable under varying electric field due to the field-induced large Rashba and Zeeman splitting, resulting in large nonlinear photocurrent response down to a few THz regime, suggesting bilayer AFM-zMnBi2Te4as amore »tunable platform with rich THz and magneto-optoelectronic applications. Our results reveal that nonlinear photocurrent responses governed by NSC, NIC, MSC, and MIC provide a powerful tool for deciphering magnetic structures and interactions which could be particularly fruitful for probing and understanding magnetic topological quantum materials.

    « less
  2. Abstract

    The emergence of hybrid metal halides (HMH) materials, such as the archetypal CH3NH3PbBr3, provides an appealing material platform for solution-processed spintronic applications due to properties such as unprecedented large Rashba spin-splitting states and highly efficient spin-to-charge (StC) conversion efficiencies. Here we report the first study of StC conversion and spin relaxation time in MAPbBr3single crystals at room temperature using a spin pumping approach. Microwave frequency and power dependence of StC responses are both consistent with the spin pumping model, from which an inverse Rashba–Edelstein effect coherence length of up to ∼30 picometer is obtained, highlighting a good StC conversion efficiency. The magnetic field angular dependence of StC is investigated and can be well-explained by the spin precession model under oblique magnetic field. A long spin relaxation time of up to ∼190 picoseconds is obtained, which can be attributed to the surface Rashba state formed at the MAPbBr3interface. Our oblique Hanle effect by FMR-driven spin pumping technique provides a reliable and sensitive tool for measuring the spin relaxation time in various solution processed HMH single crystals.

  3. Abstract

    Resistive switching can be achieved in a Mott insulator by applying current/voltage, which triggers an insulator-metal transition (IMT). This phenomenon is key for understanding IMT physics and developing novel memory elements and brain-inspired technology. Despite this, the roles of electric field and Joule heating in the switching process remain controversial. Using nanowires of two archetypal Mott insulators—VO2and V2O3we unequivocally show that a purely non-thermal electrical IMT can occur in both materials. The mechanism behind this effect is identified as field-assisted carrier generation leading to a doping driven IMT. This effect can be controlled by similar means in both VO2and V2O3, suggesting that the proposed mechanism is generally applicable to Mott insulators. The energy consumption associated with the non-thermal IMT is extremely low, rivaling that of state-of-the-art electronics and biological neurons. These findings pave the way towards highly energy-efficient applications of Mott insulators.

  4. Low dimensional magnetism has been powerfully boosted as a promising candidate for numerous applications. The stability of the long-range magnetic order is directly dependent on the electronic structure and the relative strength of the competing magnetic exchange constants. Here, we report a comparative pressure-dependent theoretical and experimental study of the electronic structure and exchange interactions of two-dimensional ferromagnets CrBr 3 and Cr 2 Ge 2 Te 6 . While CrBr 3 is found to be a Mott–Hubbard-like insulator, Cr 2 Ge 2 Te 6 shows a charge-transfer character due to the broader character of the Te 5p bands at the Fermi level. This different electronic behaviour is responsible for the robust insulating state of CrBr 3 , in which the magnetic exchange constants evolve monotonically with pressure, and the proximity to a metal–insulator transition predicted for Cr 2 Ge 2 Te 6 , which causes a non-monotonic evolution of its magnetic ordering temperature. We provide a microscopic understanding for the pressure evolution of the magnetic properties of the two systems.
  5. Abstract

    Under broken time reversal symmetry such as in the presence of external magnetic field or internal magnetization, a transverse voltage can be established in materials perpendicular to both longitudinal current and applied magnetic field, known as classical Hall effect. However, this symmetry constraint can be relaxed in the nonlinear regime, thereby enabling nonlinear anomalous Hall current in time-reversal invariant materials – an underexplored realm with exciting new opportunities beyond classical linear Hall effect. Here, using group theory and first-principles theory, we demonstrate a remarkable ferroelectric nonlinear anomalous Hall effect in time-reversal invariant few-layer WTe2where nonlinear anomalous Hall current switches in odd-layer WTe2except 1T′ monolayer while remaining invariant in even-layer WTe2upon ferroelectric transition. This even-odd oscillation of ferroelectric nonlinear anomalous Hall effect was found to originate from the absence and presence of Berry curvature dipole reversal and shift dipole reversal due to distinct ferroelectric transformation in even and odd-layer WTe2. Our work not only treats Berry curvature dipole and shift dipole on an equal footing to account for intraband and interband contributions to nonlinear anomalous Hall effect, but also establishes Berry curvature dipole and shift dipole as new order parameters for noncentrosymmetric materials. The present findings suggest that ferroelectric metalsmore »and Weyl semimetals may offer unprecedented opportunities for the development of nonlinear quantum electronics.

    « less