Spin-orbit coupling (SOC), the interaction between the electron spin and the orbital angular momentum, can unlock rich phenomena at interfaces, in particular interconverting spin and charge currents. Conventional heavy metals have been extensively explored due to their strong SOC of conduction electrons. However, spin-orbit effects in classes of materials such as epitaxial 5 d -electron transition-metal complex oxides, which also host strong SOC, remain largely unreported. In addition to strong SOC, these complex oxides can also provide the additional tuning knob of epitaxy to control the electronic structure and the engineering of spin-to-charge conversion by crystalline symmetry. Here, we demonstrate room-temperature generation of spin-orbit torque on a ferromagnet with extremely high efficiency via the spin-Hall effect in epitaxial metastable perovskite SrIrO 3 . We first predict a large intrinsic spin-Hall conductivity in orthorhombic bulk SrIrO 3 arising from the Berry curvature in the electronic band structure. By manipulating the intricate interplay between SOC and crystalline symmetry, we control the spin-Hall torque ratio by engineering the tilt of the corner-sharing oxygen octahedra in perovskite SrIrO 3 through epitaxial strain. This allows the presence of an anisotropic spin-Hall effect due to a characteristic structural anisotropy in SrIrO 3 with orthorhombic symmetry. Ourmore »
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Nitride perovskite becomes polar
There is a strong drive behind the quest for thin-film materials that are oxygen-free and polar. Oxygen hinders the integration of ferroelectric oxides with semiconductors, which affects efforts to develop nonvolatile memory—that is, a memory that can sustain its information without power. Ideally, one would use single-crystalline perovskite films to construct these devices so that the polarization can be maximized. However, when depositing crystalline polar perovskite oxides onto silicon or germanium, a nonpolar oxide buffer layer ( 1 ) or a native oxide layer ( 2 ) can be present at the interface, compromising device performance. A nitrogen-based perovskite may overcome this limitation ( 3 ). On page 1488 of this issue, Talley et al. ( 4 ) report the synthesis of lanthanum tungsten nitride (LaWN 3 ) thin films, which marks the first demonstration of polar nitride perovskite. This may lead to oxygen-free integration of functional perovskite on a semiconductor platform.
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