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Creators/Authors contains: "Tsymbal, Evgeny Y."

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  5. 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 RuO 2 as a representative compensated antiferromagnet exhibiting spin-independent conductance along the [001] direction but a non-spin-degenerate Fermi surface, we design a RuO 2 /TiO 2 /RuO 2 (001) AFMTJ, where a globally spin-neutral charge current is controlled by the relative orientation of the Néel vectors of the two RuO 2 electrodes, 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.
    Free, publicly-accessible full text available December 1, 2022
  6. The discovery of ferroelectricity marks its 100th anniversary this year ( 1 ), and this phenomenon continues to enrich our understanding of many fields of physics and material science, as well as creating subfields on its own. All of the ferroelectrics discovered have been limited to those exhibiting a polar space group of the bulk crystal that supports two or more topologically equivalent variants with different orientations of electric polarization. On pages 1458 and 1462 of this issue, Yasuda et al. ( 2 ) and Vizner Stern et al. ( 3 ), respectively, show that ferroelectricity can be engineered by artificially stacking a nonpolar in bulk, two-dimensional (2D) material, boron nitride (BN). A relatively weak van der Waals (vdW) coupling between the adjacent BN monolayers allows their parallel alignment in a metastable non-centrosymmetric coordination supporting 2D ferroelectricity with an out-of-plane electric polarization. These findings open opportunities to design 2D ferroelectrics out of parent nonpolar compounds.