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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Discovery of a magnetic conductive interface in PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3 /SrTiO3 heterostructures.

  • Author(s): Zhang, Yi
  • Xie, Lin
  • Kim, Jeongwoo
  • Stern, Alex
  • Wang, Hui
  • Zhang, Kui
  • Yan, Xingxu
  • Li, Linze
  • Liu, Henry
  • Zhao, Gejian
  • Chi, Hang
  • Gadre, Chaitanya
  • Lin, Qiyin
  • Zhou, Yichun
  • Uher, Ctirad
  • Chen, Tingyong
  • Chu, Ying-Hao
  • Xia, Jing
  • Wu, Ruqian
  • Pan, Xiaoqing
  • et al.

Emergent physical properties often arise at interfaces of complex oxide heterostructures due to the interplay between various degrees of freedom, especially those with polar discontinuities. It is desirable to explore if these structures may generate pure and controllable spin currents, which are needed to attain unmatched performance and energy efficiency in the next-generation spintronic devices. Here we report the emergence of a spin-polarized two-dimensional electron gas (SP-2DEG) at the interface of two insulators, SrTiO3 and PbZr0.2Ti0.8O3. This SP-2DEG is strongly localized at the interfacial Ti atoms, due to the interplay between Coulomb interaction and band bending, and can be tuned by the ferroelectric polarization. Our findings open a door for engineering ferroelectric/insulator interfaces to create tunable ferroic orders for magnetoelectric device applications and provide opportunities for designing multiferroic materials in heterostructures.

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