Controllable thickness inhomogeneity and Berry curvature engineering of anomalous Hall effect in SrRuO3 ultrathin films

Lingfei Wang, Qiyuan Feng, Han Gyeol Lee, Eun Kyo Ko, Qingyou Lu, and Tae Won Noh

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Oct 16, 2019
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Received Date: 7th October 19

In quantum matters hosting electron-electron correlation and spin-orbit coupling, spatial inhomogeneities, arising from competing ground states, can be essential for understanding exotic topological properties. A prominent example is Hall anomalies observed in SrRuO3 films, which were interpreted in terms of either magnetic skyrmion-induced topological Hall effect (THE) or inhomogeneous anomalous Hall effect (AHE). To clarify this ambiguity, we systematically investigated the AHE of SrRuO3 ultrathin films with controllable inhomogeneities in film thickness (tSRO). By exploiting the step-flow growth of SrRuO3 films, we induced microscopically-ordered stripe pattern with one-unit-cell differences in tSRO. The resultant spatial distribution of momentum-space Berry curvatures enables a two-channel AHE, which shows hump-like anomalies similar to the THE and can be continuously engineered according to tSRO inhomogeneity. We further microscopically identified two-step magnetic switchings and stripe-like ferromagnetic domains in the inhomogeneous SRO films. These features are fingerprints for distinguishing the two-channel AHE from the skyrmion-induced THE.

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This is an abstract of a preprint hosted on an independent third party site. It has not been peer reviewed but is currently under consideration at Nature Communications.

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