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  1. Despite its use as a constituent layer for realization of a polar metal and interfacial conductivity, the microscopic study of electronic structure of CaTiO 3 is still very limited. Here, we epitaxially stabilized CaTiO 3 films on NdGaO 3 (110) substrates in a layer-by-layer way by pulsed laser deposition. The structural and electronic properties of the films were characterized by reflection-high-energy-electron-diffraction, X-ray diffraction, and element-specific resonant X-ray absorption spectroscopy. To reveal the orbital polarization and the crystal field splitting of the titanium 3d state, X-ray linear dichroism was carried out on CaTiO 3 films, demonstrating the orbital configuration of dmore » xz/d yz < d xy < d 3z2-r2 < d x2-y2. To further explore the origin of this configuration, we performed the first-principles density function theory calculations, which linked the orbital occupation to the on-site energy of Ti 3d orbitals. Finally, these findings can be important for understanding and designing exotic quantum states in heterostructures based on CaTiO 3.« less
  2. Chirality is a geometrical property by which an object is not super-imposable onto its mirror image, thereby imparting a handedness. Chirality determines many important properties in nature—from the strength of the weak interactions according to the electroweak theory in particle physics to the binding of enzymes with naturally occurring amino acids or sugars, reactions that are fundamental for life. In condensed matter physics, the prediction of topologically protected magnetic skyrmions and related spin textures in chiral magnets has stimulated significant research. If the magnetic dipoles were replaced by their electrical counterparts, then electrically controllable chiral devices could be designed. Complexmore » oxide BaTiO 3/SrTiO 3 nanocomposites and PbTiO 3/SrTiO 3 superlattices are perfect candidates, since “polar vortices,” in which a continuous rotation of ferroelectric polarization spontaneously forms, have been recently discovered. Using resonant soft X-ray diffraction, we report the observation of a strong circular dichroism from the interaction between circularly polarized light and the chiral electric polarization texture that emerges in PbTiO 3/SrTiO 3 superlattices. This hallmark of chirality is explained by a helical rotation of electric polarization that second-principles simulations predict to reside within complex 3D polarization textures comprising ordered topological line defects. The handedness of the texture can be topologically characterized by the sign of the helicity number of the chiral line defects. Furthermore, this coupling between the optical and novel polar properties could be exploited to encode chiral signatures into photon or electron beams for information processing.« less
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  5. Pure spin currents, unaccompanied by dissipative charge flow, are essential for realizing energy-efficient nanomagnetic information and communications devices. Thin-film magnetic insulators have been identified as promising materials for spin-current technology because they are thought to exhibit lower damping compared with their metallic counterparts. However, insulating behavior is not a sufficient requirement for low damping, as evidenced by the very limited options for low-damping insulators. Here, we demonstrate a new class of nanometer-thick ultralow-damping insulating thin films based on design criteria that minimize orbital angular momentum and structural disorder. Specifically, we show ultralow damping in <20 nm thick spinel-structure magnesium aluminummore » ferrite (MAFO), in which magnetization arises from Fe 3+ ions with zero orbital angular momentum. Here, these epitaxial MAFO thin films exhibit a Gilbert damping parameter of ~0.0015 and negligible inhomogeneous linewidth broadening, resulting in narrow half width at half-maximum linewidths of ~0.6 mT around 10 GHz. Our findings offer an attractive thin-film platform for enabling integrated insulating spintronics.« less

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