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  1. Abstract

    5dtransition metal oxides, such as iridates, have attracted significant interest in condensed matter physics throughout the past decade owing to their fascinating physical properties that arise from intrinsically strong spin-orbit coupling (SOC) and its interplay with other interactions of comparable energy scales. Among the rich family of iridates, iridium dioxide (IrO2), a simple binary compound long known as a promising catalyst for water splitting, has recently been demonstrated to possess novel topological states and exotic transport properties. The strong SOC and the nonsymmorphic symmetry that IrO2possesses introduce symmetry-protected Dirac nodal lines (DNLs) within its band structure as well as a large spin Hall effect in the transport. Here, we review recent advances pertaining to the study of this unique SOC oxide, with an emphasis on the understanding of the topological electronic structures, syntheses of high crystalline quality nanostructures, and experimental measurements of its fundamental transport properties. In particular, the theoretical origin of the presence of the fourfold degenerate DNLs in band structure and its implications in the angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy measurement and in the spin Hall effect are discussed. We further introduce a variety of synthesis techniques to achieve IrO2nanostructures, such as epitaxial thin films and single crystalline nanowires, with the goal of understanding the roles that each key parameter plays in the growth process. Finally, we review the electrical, spin, and thermal transport studies. The transport properties under variable temperatures and magnetic fields reveal themselves to be uniquely sensitive and modifiable by strain, dimensionality (bulk, thin film, nanowire), quantum confinement, film texture, and disorder. The sensitivity, stemming from the competing energy scales of SOC, disorder, and other interactions, enables the creation of a variety of intriguing quantum states of matter.

     
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