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  1. 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 »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
  2. 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 to an isostructural metal-insulator transition. This discovery will provide insights into phase transitions of correlated materials and may aid the design of device functionalities.