Emergent nanoscale superparamagnetism at oxide interfaces

Y. Anahory, L. Embon, C. J. Li, S. Banerjee, A. Meltzer, H. R. Naren, A. Yakovenko, J. Cuppens, Y. Myasoedov, M. L. Rappaport, M. E. Huber, K. Michaeli, T. Venkatesan, Ariando, E. Zeldov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Atomically sharp oxide heterostructures exhibit a range of novel physical phenomena that are absent in the parent compounds. A prominent example is the appearance of highly conducting and superconducting states at the interface between LaAlO 3 and SrTiO 3. Here we report an emergent phenomenon at the LaMnO3/SrTiO3 interface where an antiferromagnetic Mott insulator abruptly transforms into a nanoscale inhomogeneous magnetic state. Upon increasing the thickness of LaMnO3, our scanning nanoSQUID-on-tip microscopy shows spontaneous formation of isolated magnetic nanoislands, which display thermally activated moment reversals in response to an in-plane magnetic field. The observed superparamagnetic state manifests the emergence of thermodynamic electronic phase separation in which metallic ferromagnetic islands nucleate in an insulating antiferromagnetic matrix. We derive a model that captures the sharp onset and the thickness dependence of the magnetization. Our model suggests that a nearby superparamagnetic-ferromagnetic transition can be gate tuned, holding potential for applications in magnetic storage and spintronics.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number12566
Number of pages9
JournalNature Communications
Volume7
DOIs
StatePublished - 25 Aug 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry,Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy

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