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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Itinerant ferromagnetism and intrinsic anomalous Hall effect in amorphous iron-germanium

  • Author(s): Bouma, DS
  • Chen, Z
  • Zhang, B
  • Bruni, F
  • Flatté, ME
  • Ceballos, A
  • Streubel, R
  • Wang, L-W
  • Wu, RQ
  • Hellman, F
  • et al.

© 2020 American Physical Society. The amorphous iron-germanium system (a-FexGe1-x) lacks long-range structural order and hence lacks a meaningful Brillouin zone. The magnetization of a-FexGe1-x is well explained by the Stoner model for Fe concentrations x above the onset of magnetic order around x=0.4, indicating that the local order of the amorphous structure preserves the spin-split density of states of the Fe-3d states sufficiently to polarize the electronic structure despite k being a bad quantum number. Measurements reveal an enhanced anomalous Hall resistivity ρxyAH relative to crystalline FeGe; this ρxyAH is compared to density-functional theory calculations of the anomalous Hall conductivity to resolve its underlying mechanisms. The intrinsic mechanism, typically understood as the Berry curvature integrated over occupied k states but shown here to be equivalent to the density of curvature integrated over occupied energies in aperiodic materials, dominates the anomalous Hall conductivity of a-FexGe1-x (0.38≤x≤0.61). The density of curvature is the sum of spin-orbit correlations of local orbital states and can hence be calculated with no reference to k space. This result and the accompanying Stoner-like model for the intrinsic anomalous Hall conductivity establish a unified understanding of the underlying physics of the anomalous Hall effect in both crystalline and disordered systems.

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