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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2023
  2. Abstract

    Electric currents carrying a net spin polarization are widely used in spintronics, whereas globally spin-neutral currents are expected to play no role in spin-dependent phenomena. Here we show that, in contrast to this common expectation, spin-independent conductance in compensated antiferromagnets and normal metals can be efficiently exploited in spintronics, provided their magnetic space group symmetry supports a non-spin-degenerate Fermi surface. Due to their momentum-dependent spin polarization, such antiferromagnets can be used as active elements in antiferromagnetic tunnel junctions (AFMTJs) and produce a giant tunneling magnetoresistance (TMR) effect. Using RuO2as a representative compensated antiferromagnet exhibiting spin-independent conductance along the [001] direction but a non-spin-degenerate Fermi surface, we design a RuO2/TiO2/RuO2(001) AFMTJ, where a globally spin-neutral charge current is controlled by the relative orientation of the Néel vectors of the two RuO2electrodes, resulting in the TMR effect as large as ~500%. These results are expanded to normal metals which can be used as a counter electrode in AFMTJs with a single antiferromagnetic layer or other elements in spintronic devices. Our work uncovers an unexplored potential of the materials with no global spin polarization for utilizing them in spintronics.

  3. Abstract

    In situ growth of pyrochlore iridate thin films has been a long-standing challenge due to the low reactivity of Ir at low temperatures and the vaporization of volatile gas species such as IrO3(g) and IrO2(g) at high temperatures and highPO2. To address this challenge, we combine thermodynamic analysis of the Pr-Ir-O2system with experimental results from the conventional physical vapor deposition (PVD) technique of co-sputtering. Our results indicate that only high growth temperatures yield films with crystallinity sufficient for utilizing and tailoring the desired topological electronic properties and the in situ synthesis of Pr2Ir2O7thin films is fettered by the inability to grow withPO2on the order of 10 Torr at high temperatures, a limitation inherent to the PVD process. Thus, we suggest techniques capable of supplying high partial pressure of key species during deposition, in particular chemical vapor deposition (CVD), as a route to synthesis of Pr2Ir2O7.

  4. In recent years, lanthanum aluminate/strontium titanate (LAO/STO) heterointerfaces have been used to create a growing family of nanoelectronic devices based on nanoscale control of LAO/STO metal-to-insulator transition. The properties of these devices are wide-ranging, but they are restricted by nature of the underlying thick STO substrate. Here, single-crystal freestanding membranes based on LAO/STO heterostructures were fabricated, which can be directly integrated with other materials via van der Waals stacking. The key properties of LAO/STO are preserved when LAO/STO membranes are formed. Conductive atomic force microscope lithography is shown to successfully create reversible patterns of nanoscale conducting regions, which survive to millikelvin temperatures. The ability to form reconfigurable conducting nanostructures on LAO/STO membranes opens opportunities to integrate a variety of nanoelectronics with silicon-based architectures and flexible, magnetic, or superconducting materials.
  5. The quest to understand, design, and synthesize new forms of quantum matter guides much of contemporary research in condensed matter physics. One-dimensional (1D) electronic systems form the basis for some of the most interesting and exotic phases of quantum matter. Here, we describe a family of quasi-1D nanostructures, based on LaAlO 3 /SrTiO 3 electron waveguides, in which a sinusoidal transverse spatial modulation is imposed. These devices display unique dispersive features in the subband spectra, namely, a sizeable shift (∼7 T) in the spin-dependent subband minima, and fractional conductance plateaus. The first property can be understood as an engineered spin-orbit interaction associated with the periodic acceleration of electrons as they undulate through the nanowire (ballistically), while the second property signifies the presence of enhanced electron-electron scattering in this system. The ability to engineer these interactions in quantum wires contributes to the tool set of a 1D solid-state quantum simulation platform.
  6. Fe-based superconductors exhibit a diverse interplay between charge, orbital, and magnetic ordering. Variations in atomic geometry affect electron hopping between Fe atoms and the Fermi surface topology, influencing magnetic frustration and the pairing strength through changes of orbital overlap and occupancies. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a systematic approach to realize superconductivity without chemical doping in BaFe2As2, employing geometric design within an epitaxial heterostructure. We control both tetragonality and orthorhombicity in BaFe2As2through superlattice engineering, which we experimentally find to induce superconductivity when the As−Fe−As bond angle approaches that in a regular tetrahedron. This approach to superlattice design could lead to insights into low-dimensional superconductivity in Fe-based superconductors.