First theoretical demonstration of both in-plane and out-of-plane spin
A Monash University study revealing new spin textures in pyrite could unlock these materials' potential in future spintronics devices.
The study of pyrite-type materials provides new insights and opportunities for selective spin control in topological spintronics devices.
Seeking new spin in topological materials
Topological materials have exciting potential for next-generation, ultra-low energy electronics, including thermoelectric and spintronic devices.
However, a restriction on the use of such materials in spintronics has been that all topological materials studied thus far have spin states that lie parallel to the plane of the material, while many/most/all practical spintronic devices would require out-of-plane spin states.
Generating and manipulating out-of-plane spins without applying an external electric or magnetic field has been a key challenge in spintronics.
The new Monash Engineering study demonstrates for the first time that pyrite-type crystals can host unconventional energy- and direction-dependent spin textures on the surface, with both in-plane and out-of-plane spin components, in sharp contrast to spin textures in conventional topological materials.
"A number of pyrite-type materials have previously been theoretically predicted to show the desired out-of-plan spin textures," explains lead author Dr Yuefeng Yin, in Monash Engineering's Computational Materials Lab.
Pyrite (colloquially known as 'fool's gold') is an iron-sulfide mineral that displays multiple internal planes of electronic symmetry.
"The presence of strong local symmetry protects out-of-plan spin states," explains Yuefeng, "so we decided to look closer at some of these crystals."
The unconventional spin texture discovered opens new possibilities for the necessary task of injecting or detecting out-of-plane spin component in future topological spintronic devices.
Selective control of surface spin current in topological pyrite-type OsX2 (X?=?Se, Te) crystals was published in NPJ Quantum Materials in August 2019 (DOI 10.1038/s41535-019-0186-8).
Using first-principles calculations, the Monash team separated surface spin states by their interactions with spin states in the bulk of the material, resulting in highly anisotropic but tunable behaviour.
As well as funding from the Australian Research Council (Centre of Excellence and ARC Laureates funding) the authors gratefully acknowledge computational support from the Monash Campus Cluster, NCI computational facility and Pawsey Supercomputing Facility.
THE LINK BETWEEN SYMMETRY AND TOPOLOGICAL MATERIALS
The presence of strong, local symmetry provides topological robustness to spin states, and symmetry is therefore a strong predictor of topological behaviour, so that studying these phenomena in pyrite crystals should provide clues towards discovery of many other new topological materials.
Topological insulators are novel materials that behave as electrical insulators in their interior, but can carry a current along their edges. Unlike a conventional electrical path, such topological edge paths can carry electrical current with near-zero dissipation of energy, meaning that topological transistors can switch without burning energy. Topological materials are investigated within FLEET's Research theme 1, seeking ultra-low resistance electronic paths with which to create a new generation of ultra-low energy electronics.
FLEET is an Australian Research Council-funded research centre bringing together over a hundred Australian and international experts to develop a new generation of ultra-low energy electronics.
* Contact lead author Dr Yuefeng Yin Yuefeng.Yin@monash.edu
* Contact group leader A/Prof Nikhil Medhekar Nikhil.Medhekar@monash.edu
* Follow FLEET at @FLEETCentre
* Visit FLEET.org.au
Errol Hunt | EurekAlert!
Caterpillars of the wax moth love eating plastic: Fraunhofer LBF investigates degradation process
06.08.2020 | Fraunhofer-Institut für Betriebsfestigkeit und Systemzuverlässigkeit LBF
Machine learning methods provide new insights into organic-inorganic interfaces
04.08.2020 | Technische Universität Graz
Scientists at the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT have come up with a striking new addition to contact stamping technologies in the ERDF research project ScanCut. In collaboration with industry partners from North Rhine-Westphalia, the Aachen-based team of researchers developed a hybrid manufacturing process for the laser cutting of thin-walled metal strips. This new process makes it possible to fabricate even the tiniest details of contact parts in an eco-friendly, high-precision and efficient manner.
Plug connectors are tiny and, at first glance, unremarkable – yet modern vehicles would be unable to function without them. Several thousand plug connectors...
An international research team has found a new approach that may be able to reduce bone loss in osteoporosis and maintain bone health.
Osteoporosis is the most common age-related bone disease which affects hundreds of millions of individuals worldwide. It is estimated that one in three women...
Traditional single-cell sequencing methods help to reveal insights about cellular differences and functions - but they do this with static snapshots only...
“Core-shell” clusters pave the way for new efficient nanomaterials that make catalysts, magnetic and laser sensors or measuring devices for detecting electromagnetic radiation more efficient.
Whether in innovative high-tech materials, more powerful computer chips, pharmaceuticals or in the field of renewable energies, nanoparticles – smallest...
An international research team with Prof. Cornelia Denz from the Institute of Applied Physics at the University of Münster develop for the first time light fields using caustics that do not change during propagation. With the new method, the physicists cleverly exploit light structures that can be seen in rainbows or when light is transmitted through drinking glasses.
Modern applications as high resolution microsopy or micro- or nanoscale material processing require customized laser beams that do not change during...
23.07.2020 | Event News
21.07.2020 | Event News
07.07.2020 | Event News
06.08.2020 | Earth Sciences
06.08.2020 | Power and Electrical Engineering
06.08.2020 | Life Sciences