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Title: Giant perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in Fe/III-V nitride thin films

Abstract

Large perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) in transition metal thin films provides a pathway for enabling the intriguing physics of nanomagnetism and developing broad spintronics applications. After decades of searches for promising materials, the energy scale of PMA of transition metal thin films, unfortunately, remains only about 1 meV. This limitation has become a major bottleneck in the development of ultradense storage and memory devices. We discovered unprecedented PMA in Fe thin-film growth on the ($$000\overline{1}$$) N-terminated surface of III-V nitrides from first-principles calculations. PMA ranges from 24.1 meV/u.c. in Fe/BN to 53.7 meV/u.c. in Fe/InN. Symmetry-protected degeneracy between x 2 - y 2 and xy orbitals and its lift by the spin-orbit coupling play a dominant role. As a consequence, PMA in Fe/III-V nitride thin films is dominated by first-order perturbation of the spin-orbit coupling, instead of second-order in conventional transition metal/oxide thin films. This game-changing scenario would also open a new field of magnetism on transition metal/nitride interfaces.

Authors:
ORCiD logo [1]; ORCiD logo [1]
  1. Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States)
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Univ. of New Hampshire, Durham, NH (United States)
Sponsoring Org.:
USDOE Office of Science (SC), Basic Energy Sciences (BES) (SC-22)
OSTI Identifier:
1499922
Grant/Contract Number:  
SC0016424
Resource Type:
Accepted Manuscript
Journal Name:
Science Advances
Additional Journal Information:
Journal Volume: 4; Journal Issue: 3; Journal ID: ISSN 2375-2548
Publisher:
AAAS
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
36 MATERIALS SCIENCE; 75 CONDENSED MATTER PHYSICS, SUPERCONDUCTIVITY AND SUPERFLUIDITY

Citation Formats

Yu, Jie-Xiang, and Zang, Jiadong. Giant perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in Fe/III-V nitride thin films. United States: N. p., 2018. Web. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aar7814.
Yu, Jie-Xiang, & Zang, Jiadong. Giant perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in Fe/III-V nitride thin films. United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aar7814.
Yu, Jie-Xiang, and Zang, Jiadong. Fri . "Giant perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in Fe/III-V nitride thin films". United States. doi:10.1126/sciadv.aar7814. https://www.osti.gov/servlets/purl/1499922.
@article{osti_1499922,
title = {Giant perpendicular magnetic anisotropy in Fe/III-V nitride thin films},
author = {Yu, Jie-Xiang and Zang, Jiadong},
abstractNote = {Large perpendicular magnetic anisotropy (PMA) in transition metal thin films provides a pathway for enabling the intriguing physics of nanomagnetism and developing broad spintronics applications. After decades of searches for promising materials, the energy scale of PMA of transition metal thin films, unfortunately, remains only about 1 meV. This limitation has become a major bottleneck in the development of ultradense storage and memory devices. We discovered unprecedented PMA in Fe thin-film growth on the ($000\overline{1}$) N-terminated surface of III-V nitrides from first-principles calculations. PMA ranges from 24.1 meV/u.c. in Fe/BN to 53.7 meV/u.c. in Fe/InN. Symmetry-protected degeneracy between x2 - y2 and xy orbitals and its lift by the spin-orbit coupling play a dominant role. As a consequence, PMA in Fe/III-V nitride thin films is dominated by first-order perturbation of the spin-orbit coupling, instead of second-order in conventional transition metal/oxide thin films. This game-changing scenario would also open a new field of magnetism on transition metal/nitride interfaces.},
doi = {10.1126/sciadv.aar7814},
journal = {Science Advances},
number = 3,
volume = 4,
place = {United States},
year = {2018},
month = {3}
}

Journal Article:
Free Publicly Available Full Text
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Cited by: 5 works
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Figures / Tables:

Fig. 1. Fig. 1. : PMA of Fe(1ML)/III-V nitrides. (A) Surface structures of one-monolayer (1ML) Fe deposited on (000$\bar{1}$) N-terminated surface of III-V nitride XN (X = B, Al, Ga, and In) substrate in top, side, and perspective views, respectively. In top view, three dash-dotted lines indicate three mirror planes of themore » C3v point group on Fe. (B) Crystal field diagram for Fe(3d)’s spin majority (spin up) and minority (spin down) channels. The spin minority channel is further split by SOC. $E$F refers to the Fermi level. (C) The relative total energy per unit cell (u.c.) of Fe(1ML)/III-V nitride thin film as a function of sin2 θ, where θ denotes the angle between magnetization orientation and the z direction. Relative energy at sin2 θ = 1 gives the value of PMA. The dotted curves are their fit to Ku1 sin2 θ + Ku2 sin4 θ.« less

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    Figures/Tables have been extracted from DOE-funded journal article accepted manuscripts.