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Condensed-Matter Physics

Welcome to the Nature Communications Editors’ Highlights webpage on condensed-matter physics. Each month our editors select a small number of Articles recently published in Nature Communications that they believe are particularly interesting or important.

The aim is to provide a snapshot of some of the most exciting work published in the area of condensed-matter physics at Nature Communications. Each editor handles a different area of this research, as described below:

Richard Brierley handles manuscripts on fundamental condensed-matter physics and solid state qubits.

Wei Fan handles manuscripts on topological matter and superconductivity.

Yu Gong handles manuscripts on magnetic materials and spintronics.

Silvia Milana handles manuscripts on physics of two-dimensional materials and van der Waals heterostructures.

 

Richard Brierley

  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Competing interactions in frustrated magnets give rise to complex emergent phenomena, which challenge a full microscopic understanding but invite comparison to other systems. Bovo et al. find an analogy to classical gases and identify special temperatures that reveal fine details of the microscopic Hamiltonian.

    • L. Bovo
    • , M. Twengström
    • , O. A. Petrenko
    • , T. Fennell
    • , M. J. P. Gingras
    • , S. T. Bramwell
    •  &  P. Henelius
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Experimental search for high-temperature ferroelectric perovskites is challenging due to the vast chemical space and lack of predictive guidelines. Here the authors demonstrate a two-step machine learning approach to sequentially guide experiments in search of promising perovskites with high ferroelectric Curie temperature.

    • Prasanna V. Balachandran
    • , Benjamin Kowalski
    • , Alp Sehirlioglu
    •  &  Turab Lookman
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Materials that combine metallic behaviour with stable electric polarization are scarce despite being proposed in the 1960s. Here the authors engineer a perovskite heterostructure where 2D polar metallic behavior coexists with built-in electric polarization from the displacement of B-site titanium cations.

    • Yanwei Cao
    • , Zhen Wang
    • , Se Young Park
    • , Yakun Yuan
    • , Xiaoran Liu
    • , Sergey M. Nikitin
    • , Hirofumi Akamatsu
    • , M. Kareev
    • , S. Middey
    • , D. Meyers
    • , P. Thompson
    • , P. J. Ryan
    • , Padraic Shafer
    • , A. N’Diaye
    • , E. Arenholz
    • , Venkatraman Gopalan
    • , Yimei Zhu
    • , Karin M. Rabe
    •  &  J. Chakhalian
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Rashba-type splitting is an effective way to manipulate the spin degrees of freedom in a solid without external magnetic field. Here, the authors demonstrate a strong Rashba-type splitting at the interface of LaTiO3 and SrTiO3 which is promising for the development of oxide-based spintronics.

    • M. J. Veit
    • , R. Arras
    • , B. J. Ramshaw
    • , R. Pentcheva
    •  &  Y. Suzuki
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    The phase transitions of rare earth nickelates have attracted intensive study as they arise from the complex interplay of charge, spin and lattice degrees of freedom. Here Guo et al. present evidence that LaNiO3 has an unanticipated magnetically ordered metallic phase.

    • H. Guo
    • , Z. W. Li
    • , L. Zhao
    • , Z. Hu
    • , C. F. Chang
    • , C.-Y. Kuo
    • , W. Schmidt
    • , A. Piovano
    • , T. W. Pi
    • , O. Sobolev
    • , D. I. Khomskii
    • , L. H. Tjeng
    •  &  A. C. Komarek
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    The nature of the doping dependent superconducting transition remains elusive for a two dimensional electron gas at the LaAlO3/SrTiO3 interface. Here, Singh et al. report superfluid stiffness and the superconducting gap energy at such interface as a function of carrier density.

    • G. Singh
    • , A. Jouan
    • , L. Benfatto
    • , F. Couëdo
    • , P. Kumar
    • , A. Dogra
    • , R. C. Budhani
    • , S. Caprara
    • , M. Grilli
    • , E. Lesne
    • , A. Barthélémy
    • , M. Bibes
    • , C. Feuillet-Palma
    • , J. Lesueur
    •  &  N. Bergeal

Wei Fan

  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Up to now, all iron-based high-Tc superconductors contain a square iron lattice. Here, Wang et al. report the observation of superconductivity in an iron honeycomb lattice accompanied with pressure-driven spin-crossover, in-plane lattice collapse and insulator-metal transition.

    • Yonggang Wang
    • , Jianjun Ying
    • , Zhengyang Zhou
    • , Junliang Sun
    • , Ting Wen
    • , Yannan Zhou
    • , Nana Li
    • , Qian Zhang
    • , Fei Han
    • , Yuming Xiao
    • , Paul Chow
    • , Wenge Yang
    • , Viktor V. Struzhkin
    • , Yusheng Zhao
    •  &  Ho-kwang Mao
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Samarium hexaboride is a candidate topological insulator but recent experiments have found behaviour indicative of a metallic Fermi liquid phase. Here the authors show that the conflicting observations can be accommodated by a model where strong interactions drive the formation of exotic neutral quasiparticles.

    • Debanjan Chowdhury
    • , Inti Sodemann
    •  &  T. Senthil
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Strongly correlated quantum spin liquid phases form when quantum fluctuations prevent magnetic ordering, which normally requires low spin systems that cannot be analyzed semiclassically. Here, the authors show that a large-spin Kitaev model supports a spin liquid phase in the semiclassical limit.

    • Ioannis Rousochatzakis
    • , Yuriy Sizyuk
    •  &  Natalia B. Perkins
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Monolayer transition-metal dichalcogenide (TMD) is promising to host features of topological superconductivity. Here, de la Barrera et al. study layered compounds, 2H-TaS2 and 2H-NbSe2, in their atomic layer limit and find a largest upper critical field for an intrinsic TMD superconductor.

    • Sergio C. de la Barrera
    • , Michael R. Sinko
    • , Devashish P. Gopalan
    • , Nikhil Sivadas
    • , Kyle L. Seyler
    • , Kenji Watanabe
    • , Takashi Taniguchi
    • , Adam W. Tsen
    • , Xiaodong Xu
    • , Di Xiao
    •  &  Benjamin M. Hunt
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    The role of orbital degrees of freedom in determining the electronic structure remains obscured. Here, Walkup et al. report strain-induced band structure changes in a topological crystalline insulator SnTe, whose surprising behavior reflects the  orbital nature of bands.

    • Daniel Walkup
    • , Badih A. Assaf
    • , Kane L. Scipioni
    • , R. Sankar
    • , Fangcheng Chou
    • , Guoqing Chang
    • , Hsin Lin
    • , Ilija Zeljkovic
    •  &  Vidya Madhavan
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Despite many achievements in the topological semimetal Cd3As2, the high-quality Cd3As2 films are still rare. Here, Uchida et al. grow high-crystallinity and high-mobility Cd3As2 thin films and observe quantum Hall states dependent on the confinement thickness.

    • Masaki Uchida
    • , Yusuke Nakazawa
    • , Shinichi Nishihaya
    • , Kazuto Akiba
    • , Markus Kriener
    • , Yusuke Kozuka
    • , Atsushi Miyake
    • , Yasujiro Taguchi
    • , Masashi Tokunaga
    • , Naoto Nagaosa
    • , Yoshinori Tokura
    •  &  Masashi Kawasaki

Yu Gong

  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    An ambipolar ferromagnet with both electron- and hole-doped ferromagnetism in a single material would facilitate understanding of ferromagnetic semiconductors for spintronic applications. Here the authors demonstrate ambipolar ferromagnetism in LaMnO3, using ionic liquid gating enabled electrostatic doping to produce electron–hole asymmetry.

    • L. M. Zheng
    • , X. Renshaw Wang
    • , W. M. Lü
    • , C. J. Li
    • , T. R. Paudel
    • , Z. Q. Liu
    • , Z. Huang
    • , S. W. Zeng
    • , Kun Han
    • , Z. H. Chen
    • , X. P. Qiu
    • , M. S. Li
    • , Shize Yang
    • , B. Yang
    • , Matthew F. Chisholm
    • , L. W. Martin
    • , S. J. Pennycook
    • , E. Y. Tsymbal
    • , J. M. D. Coey
    •  &  W. W. Cao
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Dzyaloshinskii–Moriya interaction (DMI) is one of the key factors to control the chiral spin textures in spintronic applications. Here the authors demonstrate the correlation of the DMI with the anisotropy of the orbital magnetic moment and magnetic dipole moment in Pt/Co/MgO ultrathin trilayers.

    • Sanghoon Kim
    • , Kohei Ueda
    • , Gyungchoon Go
    • , Peong-Hwa Jang
    • , Kyung-Jin Lee
    • , Abderrezak Belabbes
    • , Aurelien Manchon
    • , Motohiro Suzuki
    • , Yoshinori Kotani
    • , Tetsuya Nakamura
    • , Kohji Nakamura
    • , Tomohiro Koyama
    • , Daichi Chiba
    • , Kihiro. T. Yamada
    • , Duck-Ho Kim
    • , Takahiro Moriyama
    • , Kab-Jin Kim
    •  &  Teruo Ono
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Exploring the magnetism in 2D materials paves the way to low-dimensional spintronics. Here the authors report evolution of bulk antiferromagnetism to intrinsic 2D in-plane ferromagnetism in layered structures of silicene functionalized by rare-earth atoms as they are scaled down to one monolayer.

    • Andrey M. Tokmachev
    • , Dmitry V. Averyanov
    • , Oleg E. Parfenov
    • , Alexander N. Taldenkov
    • , Igor A. Karateev
    • , Ivan S. Sokolov
    • , Oleg A. Kondratev
    •  &  Vyacheslav G. Storchak
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Exploring the magnetism in the van der Waals materials facilitates two dimensional spintronic devices. Here the authors demonstrate the evolution of magnetic behavior, strong perpendicular magnetic anisotropy and existence of magnetic coupling between atomic layers in Fe3GeTe2 nanoflakes by varying the layer thickness.

    • Cheng Tan
    • , Jinhwan Lee
    • , Soon-Gil Jung
    • , Tuson Park
    • , Sultan Albarakati
    • , James Partridge
    • , Matthew R. Field
    • , Dougal G. McCulloch
    • , Lan Wang
    •  &  Changgu Lee
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Stabilization of skyrmions is one of the key issues in skyrmion-based spintronics. Here the authors demonstrate that hydrogenation can induce the formation of skyrmions in iron thin films, which provides an alternative way to tailor skyrmion states in low-dimensional magnetic materials.

    • Pin-Jui Hsu
    • , Levente Rózsa
    • , Aurore Finco
    • , Lorenz Schmidt
    • , Krisztián Palotás
    • , Elena Vedmedenko
    • , László Udvardi
    • , László Szunyogh
    • , André Kubetzka
    • , Kirsten von Bergmann
    •  &  Roland Wiesendanger
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Exchange coupling between ferromagnetic and multiferroic materials is a key to magnetoelectric devices but hard to achieve macroscopically. Here, the authors report room–temperature robust and reproducible magnetoelectric switching in Co/BiFeO3 heterostructures with monodomain properties over the entire sample at room temperature.

    • W. Saenrang
    • , B. A. Davidson
    • , F. Maccherozzi
    • , J. P. Podkaminer
    • , J. Irwin
    • , R. D. Johnson
    • , J. W. Freeland
    • , J. Íñiguez
    • , J. L. Schad
    • , K. Reierson
    • , J. C. Frederick
    • , C. A. F. Vaz
    • , L. Howald
    • , T. H. Kim
    • , S. Ryu
    • , M. v. Veenendaal
    • , P. G. Radaelli
    • , S. S. Dhesi
    • , M. S. Rzchowski
    •  &  C. B. Eom

Silvia Milana

  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    The investigation into the dynamical transitions of charged quasiparticles on interfaces remains technically challenging. Here, the authors use ultrafast, mid-infrared micro-spectroscopy to unveil the formation of tightly bound interlayer excitons between conducting graphene and semiconducting MoSe2.

    • Xiewen Wen
    • , Hailong Chen
    • , Tianmin Wu
    • , Zhihao Yu
    • , Qirong Yang
    • , Jingwen Deng
    • , Zhengtang Liu
    • , Xin Guo
    • , Jianxin Guan
    • , Xiang Zhang
    • , Yongji Gong
    • , Jiangtan Yuan
    • , Zhuhua Zhang
    • , Chongyue Yi
    • , Xuefeng Guo
    • , Pulickel M. Ajayan
    • , Wei Zhuang
    • , Zhirong Liu
    • , Jun Lou
    •  &  Junrong Zheng
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    In two-dimensional semiconductors excitons are strongly bound, suppressing the creation of free carriers. Here, the authors investigate the main exciton dissociation pathway in p-n junctions of monolayer WSe2 by means of time and spectrally resolved photocurrent measurements.

    • Mathieu Massicotte
    • , Fabien Vialla
    • , Peter Schmidt
    • , Mark B. Lundeberg
    • , Simone Latini
    • , Sten Haastrup
    • , Mark Danovich
    • , Diana Davydovskaya
    • , Kenji Watanabe
    • , Takashi Taniguchi
    • , Vladimir I. Fal’ko
    • , Kristian S. Thygesen
    • , Thomas G. Pedersen
    •  &  Frank H. L. Koppens
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Ultra-compact phonon polariton devices may benefit from the atomically thin nature of van der Waals materials. Here, the authors report that atomically 2D transition metal dichalcogenides on a silicon carbide substrate support a 190-fold confinement of propagating surface phonon polaritons.

    • Alexander M. Dubrovkin
    • , Bo Qiang
    • , Harish N. S. Krishnamoorthy
    • , Nikolay I. Zheludev
    •  &  Qi Jie Wang
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    The fabrication of van der Waals heterostructures of atomically thin materials often relies on the search, manual transferring, and alignment of suitable flakes. Here, the authors develop a robotic system capable of identifying exfoliated 2D crystals and assembling them in complex heterostructures.

    • Satoru Masubuchi
    • , Masataka Morimoto
    • , Sei Morikawa
    • , Momoko Onodera
    • , Yuta Asakawa
    • , Kenji Watanabe
    • , Takashi Taniguchi
    •  &  Tomoki Machida
  • Nature Communications | Article | open

    Valleytronics leverages the valley degree of freedom to engineer light-matter interaction. Here, the authors demonstrate a room temperature, bias-free valley effect in bulk SnS by means of spectroscopic measurements, previously unattainable using atomically thin transition metal dichalcogenides.

    • Shuren Lin
    • , Alexandra Carvalho
    • , Shancheng Yan
    • , Roger Li
    • , Sujung Kim
    • , Aleksandr Rodin
    • , Lídia Carvalho
    • , Emory M. Chan
    • , Xi Wang
    • , Antonio H. Castro Neto
    •  &  Jie Yao