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Precise control of J eff = 1/2 magnetic properties in Sr2IrO4 epitaxial thin films by variation of strain and thin film thickness

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.102.214402 DOI Help

Authors: Stephan Geprags (Walther-Meißner-Institut, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften) , Bjorn Erik Skovdal (Lund University; Uppsala University) , Monika Scheufele (Walther-Meißner-Institut, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften; Technische Universität München) , Matthias Opel (Walther-Meißner-Institut, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften) , Didier Wermeille (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) , Paul Thompson (European Synchrotron Radiation Facility) , Alessandro Bombardi (Diamond Light Source) , Virginie Simonet (Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, Institut Néel) , Stephane Grenier (Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, Institut Néel) , Pascal Lejay (Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, Institut Néel) , Gilbert Andre Chahine (Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, SIMaP) , Diana Lucia Quintero-castro (University of Stavanger) , Rudolf Gross (Walther-Meißner-Institut, Bayerische Akademie der Wissenschaften) , Danny Mannix (Université Grenoble Alpes, CNRS, Grenoble INP, Institut Néel; European Spallation Source; Aarhus University)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review B , VOL 102

State: Published (Approved)
Published: December 2020
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 12770

Abstract: We report on a comprehensive investigation of the effects of strain and film thickness on the structural and magnetic properties of epitaxial thin films of the prototypal J eff = 1 / 2 compound Sr 2 IrO 4 by advanced x-ray scattering. We find that the Sr 2 IrO 4 thin films can be grown fully strained up to a thickness of 108 nm. By using x-ray resonant scattering, we show that the out-of-plane magnetic correlation length is strongly dependent on the thin film thickness, but independent of the strain state of the thin films. This can be used as a finely tuned dial to adjust the out-of-plane magnetic correlation length and transform the magnetic anisotropy from two-dimensional to three-dimensional behavior by incrementing film thickness. These results provide a clearer picture for the systematic control of the magnetic degrees of freedom in epitaxial thin films of Sr 2 IrO 4 and bring to light the potential for a rich playground to explore the physics of 5 d transition-metal compounds.

Journal Keywords: Epitaxial strain; Magnetism; Ultrathin films; Film deposition; Magnetization measurements; Resonant elastic x-ray scattering; X-ray resonant magnetic scattering

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics

Instruments: I16-Materials and Magnetism