Letter | Published:

Large, non-saturating magnetoresistance in WTe2

Nature volume 514, pages 205208 (09 October 2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Magnetoresistance is the change in a material’s electrical resistance in response to an applied magnetic field. Materials with large magnetoresistance have found use as magnetic sensors1, in magnetic memory2, and in hard drives3 at room temperature, and their rarity has motivated many fundamental studies in materials physics at low temperatures4. Here we report the observation of an extremely large positive magnetoresistance at low temperatures in the non-magnetic layered transition-metal dichalcogenide WTe2: 452,700 per cent at 4.5 kelvins in a magnetic field of 14.7 teslas, and 13 million per cent at 0.53 kelvins in a magnetic field of 60 teslas. In contrast with other materials, there is no saturation of the magnetoresistance value even at very high applied fields. Determination of the origin and consequences of this effect, and the fabrication of thin films, nanostructures and devices based on the extremely large positive magnetoresistance of WTe2, will represent a significant new direction in the study of magnetoresistivity.

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Acknowledgements

We thank T. Valla, I. Pletikosic, F. Balakirev, R. McDonald and J. Betts for discussions, and E. Tutuc for inquiring about WTe2. This research was supported by the Army Research Office, grants W911NF-12-1-0461 and W911NF-11-1-0379, and the NSF MRSEC Program Grant DMR-0819860. The National Magnet Laboratory is supported by the National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreement no. DMR-1157490, the State of Florida, and the US Department of Energy; this work was supported by the US Department of Energy’s Basic Energy Sciences (DOE BES) project ‘Science at 100 Tesla’. The electron microscopy study at Brookhaven National Laboratory was supported by the DOE BES, by the Materials Sciences and Engineering Division under contract DE-AC02-98CH10886, and through the use of the Center for Functional Nanomaterials.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Chemistry, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA

    • Mazhar N. Ali
    • , Steven Flynn
    • , Quinn D. Gibson
    • , Leslie M. Schoop
    • , Neel Haldolaarachchige
    •  & R. J. Cava
  2. Joseph Henry Laboratories and Department of Physics, Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 08544, USA

    • Jun Xiong
    • , Tian Liang
    • , Max Hirschberger
    •  & N. P. Ong
  3. Department of Condensed Matter Physics and Materials Science, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Upton, New York 11973, USA

    • Jing Tao

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Contributions

M.N.A. was the lead researcher. M.N.A. and S.F. grew crystals and measured resistivities with N.H. J.X., T.L. and M.H. measured the detailed resistivity behaviour. Q.D.G. and L.S. calculated the electronic structure. J.T. performed the electron microscopy characterization. N.P.O. and R.J.C. supervised the research. All authors contributed to writing the manuscript.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Mazhar N. Ali.

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https://doi.org/10.1038/nature13763

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