Giant topological Hall effect in correlated oxide thin films

Abstract

Strong electronic correlations can produce remarkable phenomena such as metal–insulator transitions and greatly enhance superconductivity, thermoelectricity or optical nonlinearity. In correlated systems, spatially varying charge textures also amplify magnetoelectric effects or electroresistance in mesostructures. However, how spatially varying spin textures may influence electron transport in the presence of correlations remains unclear. Here we demonstrate a very large topological Hall effect (THE) in thin films of a lightly electron-doped charge-transfer insulator, (Ca,Ce)MnO3. Magnetic force microscopy reveals the presence of magnetic bubbles, whose density as a function of magnetic field peaks near the THE maximum. The THE critically depends on carrier concentration and diverges at low doping, near the metal–insulator transition. We discuss the strong amplification of the THE by correlation effects and give perspectives for its non-volatile control by electric fields.

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Fig. 1: Doping-dependent structural, electronic and magnetic properties of Ca1−xCexMnO3 thin films.
Fig. 2: Topological Hall effect in 4% CCMO.
Fig. 3: Connection between micromagnetism and THE.
Fig. 4: Doping dependence of the THE.

Data availability

The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

The authors thank V. Cros, V. Dobrosavljevic, J. Iñiguez, J.-V. Kim, D. Maccariello, J. Matsuno, I. Mertig, N. Nagaosa and N. Reyren for useful discussions, J.-Y. Chauleau and M. Viret for second harmonic generation experiments, N. Jaouen for resonant magnetic X-ray diffraction, J. Varignon for preparing Fig. 1a and J.-M. George for his help with some magnetotransport measurements. This research received financial support from the ERC Consolidator grant ‘MINT’ (contract no. 615759) and ANR project ‘FERROMON’. This work was also supported by a public grant overseen by the ANR as part of the ‘Investissement d’Avenir’ programme (LABEX NanoSaclay, ref. ANR-10-LABX-0035) through projects ‘FERROMOTT’ and ‘AXION’ and by the Spanish Government through project no. MAT2014-56063-C2-1-R and MAT2017-85232-R (AEI/FEDER, UE), and Severo Ochoa SEV-2015-0496 and the Generalitat de Catalunya (2014SGR 734 project). B.C. acknowledges grant no. FPI BES-2012-059023, R.C. acknowledges support from CNPq-Brazil, and J.S. thanks the University Paris-Saclay (D’Alembert programme) and CNRS for financing his stay at CNRS/Thales. Work at Rutgers was supported by the Office of Basic Energy Sciences, Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering, US Department of Energy under award no. DE-SC0018153. H.K. is supported by JSPS KAKENHI grants nos. 25400339, 15H05702 and 17H02929. K.N. is supported by a Grant-in-Aid for JSPS Research Fellow grant no. 16J05516, and by a Program for Leading Graduate Schools ‘Integrative Graduate Education and Research in Green Natural Sciences’.

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Contributions

M.B. proposed the study and supervised it with V.G. L.V., A.S. and Q.Z. prepared the samples and performed X-ray diffraction and atomic force microscopy. L.V. and A.S. performed the magnetic characterization and magnetotransport experiments, and analysed the data with M.B. and V.G. B.C., G.H. and R.C. performed the magneto-optical Kerr effect measurement experiments. W.Wa. and W.Wu. performed the MFM experiments and analysed them with V.G. and S.F. S.V., R.A. and E.W. performed X-ray absorption spectroscopy experiments. K.N. and H.K. developed the theoretical model, with inputs from J.S., A.B. and M.B. M.B. wrote the manuscript. All authors discussed the data and contributed to the manuscript.

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Correspondence to Manuel Bibes.

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Supplementary Figures 1–8; Supplementary References 1–13

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Vistoli, L., Wang, W., Sander, A. et al. Giant topological Hall effect in correlated oxide thin films. Nature Phys 15, 67–72 (2019). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41567-018-0307-5

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