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Emergent and robust ferromagnetic-insulating state in highly strained ferroelastic LaCoO3 thin films.

Published version
Peer-reviewed

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Abstract

Transition metal oxides are promising candidates for the next generation of spintronic devices due to their fascinating properties that can be effectively engineered by strain, defects, and microstructure. An excellent example can be found in ferroelastic LaCoO3 with paramagnetism in bulk. In contrast, unexpected ferromagnetism is observed in tensile-strained LaCoO3 films, however, its origin remains controversial. Here we simultaneously reveal the formation of ordered oxygen vacancies and previously unreported long-range suppression of CoO6 octahedral rotations throughout LaCoO3 films. Supported by density functional theory calculations, we find that the strong modification of Co 3d-O 2p hybridization associated with the increase of both Co-O-Co bond angle and Co-O bond length weakens the crystal-field splitting and facilitates an ordered high-spin state of Co ions, inducing an emergent ferromagnetic-insulating state. Our work provides unique insights into underlying mechanisms driving the ferromagnetic-insulating state in tensile-strained ferroelastic LaCoO3 films while suggesting potential applications toward low-power spintronic devices.

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Keywords

5108 Quantum Physics, 34 Chemical Sciences, 51 Physical Sciences

Journal Title

Nat Commun

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

2041-1723
2041-1723

Volume Title

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC
Sponsorship
National Natural Science Foundation of China (National Science Foundation of China) (52102177)