skip to main content


This content will become publicly available on May 28, 2019

Title: Removal of the Magnetic Dead Layer by Geometric Design

The proximity effect is used to engineer interface effects such as magnetoelectric coupling, exchange bias, and emergent interfacial magnetism. However, the presence of a magnetic “dead layer” adversely affects the functionality of a heterostructure. Here in this paper, it is shown that by utilizing (111) polar planes, the magnetization of a manganite ultrathin layer can be maintained throughout its thickness. Combining structural characterization, magnetometry measurements, and magnetization depth profiling with polarized neutron reflectometry, it is found that the magnetic dead layer is absent in the (111)-oriented manganite layers, however, it occurs in the films with other orientations. Quantitative analysis of local structural and elemental spatial evolutions using scanning transmission electron microscopy and electron energy loss spectroscopy reveals that atomically sharp interfaces with minimal chemical intermixing in the (111)-oriented superlattices. The polar discontinuity across the (111) interfaces inducing charge redistribution within the SrTiO 3 layers is suggested, which promotes ferromagnetism throughout the (111)-oriented ultrathin manganite layers. The approach of eliminating problematic magnetic dead layers by changing the crystallographic orientation suggests a conceptually useful recipe to engineer the intriguing physical properties of oxide interfaces, especially in low dimensionality.
ORCiD logo [1] ;  [2] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [1] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [4] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [3] ; ORCiD logo [5]
  1. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Neutron Scattering Division
  2. Arizona State Univ., Tempe, AZ (United States). Eyring Materials Center
  3. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Materials Science & Technology Division
  4. Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States). Center for Nanophase Materials Science (CNMS)
  5. Univ. of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN (United States). Dept. of Physics and Astronomy
Publication Date:
Grant/Contract Number:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Advanced Functional Materials
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 30; Journal ID: ISSN 1616-301X
Research Org:
Oak Ridge National Lab. (ORNL), Oak Ridge, TN (United States)
Sponsoring Org:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22). Materials Sciences & Engineering Division; USDOE
Country of Publication:
United States
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; charge discontinuity; interfacial magnetization; magnetic tunneling junction; manganite; polarized neutron reflectometry
OSTI Identifier:
Alternate Identifier(s):
OSTI ID: 1439259