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  1. Abstract The interconversion of charge and spin currents via spin-Hall effect is essential for spintronics. Energy-efficient and deterministic switching of magnetization can be achieved when spin polarizations of these spin currents are collinear with the magnetization. However, symmetry conditions generally restrict spin polarizations to be orthogonal to both the charge and spin flows. Spin polarizations can deviate from such direction in nonmagnetic materials only when the crystalline symmetry is reduced. Here, we show control of the spin polarization direction by using a non-collinear antiferromagnet Mn 3 GaN, in which the triangular spin structure creates a low magnetic symmetry while maintainingmore »a high crystalline symmetry. We demonstrate that epitaxial Mn 3 GaN/permalloy heterostructures can generate unconventional spin-orbit torques at room temperature corresponding to out-of-plane and Dresselhaus-like spin polarizations which are forbidden in any sample with two-fold rotational symmetry. Our results demonstrate an approach based on spin-structure design for controlling spin-orbit torque, enabling high-efficient antiferromagnetic spintronics.« less
  2. 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 demonstratemore »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. Our experimental findings demonstrate the heteroepitaxial symmetry design approach to engineer spin-orbit effects. We therefore anticipate that these epitaxial 5 d transition-metal oxide thin films can be an ideal building block for low-power spintronics.« less
  3. The metal-insulator transition in correlated materials is usually coupled to a symmetry-lowering structural phase transition. This coupling not only complicates the understanding of the basic mechanism of this phenomenon but also limits the speed and endurance of prospective electronic devices. We demonstrate an isostructural, purely electronically driven metal-insulator transition in epitaxial heterostructures of an archetypal correlated material, vanadium dioxide. A combination of thin-film synthesis, structural and electrical characterizations, and theoretical modeling reveals that an interface interaction suppresses the electronic correlations without changing the crystal structure in this otherwise correlated insulator. This interaction stabilizes a nonequilibrium metallic phase and leads tomore »an isostructural metal-insulator transition. This discovery will provide insights into phase transitions of correlated materials and may aid the design of device functionalities.

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