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  1. Abstract

    Interface materials offer a means to achieve electrical control of ferrimagnetism at room temperature as was recently demonstrated in (LuFeO3)m/(LuFe2O4)1superlattices. A challenge to understanding the inner workings of these complex magnetoelectric multiferroics is the multitude of distinct Fe centres and their associated environments. This is because macroscopic techniques characterize average responses rather than the role of individual iron centres. Here, we combine optical absorption, magnetic circular dichroism and first-principles calculations to uncover the origin of high-temperature magnetism in these superlattices and the charge-ordering pattern in them= 3 member. In a significant conceptual advance, interface spectra establish how Lu-layer distortion selectively enhances the Fe2+ →  Fe3+charge-transfer contribution in the spin-up channel, strengthens the exchange interactions and increases the Curie temperature. Comparison of predicted and measured spectra also identifies a non-polar charge ordering arrangement in the LuFe2O4layer. This site-specific spectroscopic approach opens the door to understanding engineered materials with multiple metal centres and strong entanglement.

  2. The production of hydrogen fuels, via water splitting, is of practical relevance for meeting global energy needs and mitigating the environmental consequences of fossil-fuel-based transportation. Water photoelectrolysis has been proposed as a viable approach for generating hydrogen, provided that stable and inexpensive photocatalysts with conversion efficiencies over 10% can be discovered, synthesized at scale, and successfully deployed (Pinaud et al. , Energy Environ. Sci. , 2013, 6 , 1983). While a number of first-principles studies have focused on the data-driven discovery of photocatalysts, in the absence of systematic experimental validation, the success rate of these predictions may be limited. We address this problem by developing a screening procedure with co-validation between experiment and theory to expedite the synthesis, characterization, and testing of the computationally predicted, most desirable materials. Starting with 70 150 compounds in the Materials Project database, the proposed protocol yielded 71 candidate photocatalysts, 11 of which were synthesized as single-phase materials. Experiments confirmed hydrogen generation and favorable band alignment for 6 of the 11 compounds, with the most promising ones belonging to the families of alkali and alkaline-earth indates and orthoplumbates. This study shows the accuracy of a nonempirical, Hubbard-corrected density-functional theory method to predict band gaps and bandmore »offsets at a fraction of the computational cost of hybrid functionals, and outlines an effective strategy to identify photocatalysts for solar hydrogen generation.« less