Electrical Control of Structural and Physical Properties via Strong Spin-Orbit Interactions in Sr2IrO4

27 Nov 2017  ·  Cao G., Terzic J., Zhao H. D., Zheng H., De Long L. E., Riseborough Peter S. ·

Electrical control of structural and physical properties is a long-sought, but elusive goal of contemporary science and technology. We demonstrate that a combination of strong spin-orbit interactions (SOI) and a canted antiferromagnetic (AFM) Mott state is sufficient to attain that goal... The AFM insulator Sr2IrO4 provides a model system in which strong SOI lock canted Ir magnetic moments to IrO6-octahedra, causing them to rigidly rotate together. A novel coupling between an applied electrical current and the canting angle reduces the N\'eel temperature and drives a large, non-linear lattice expansion that closely tracks the magnetization, increases the electron mobility, and precipitates a unique resistive switching effect. Our observations open new avenues for understanding fundamental physics driven by strong SOI in condensed matter, and provide a new paradigm for functional materials and devices. read more

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Strongly Correlated Electrons