Argonne National Laboratory

Magnetic Heterostructures and Interfaces

Magnetic Heterostructures and Interfaces

This topic explores unusual phenomena at interfaces between strongly correlated materials such as cuprate superconductors and manganites, with a focus on investigating the prevalence and impact of induced interfacial magnetization and/or charge ordering. The functionality of artificially created heterostructures can be profoundly modified due to strain, surface and finite size effects, chemical intermixing as well as interactions or phase competition between competing properties in adjacent layers.

Our approach is to combine polarized neutron reflectometry, scattering at grazing incidence, neutron diffraction, X-ray magnetic circular dichroism techniques, and magneto-optical Kerr microscopy, to probe the magnetization and charge distribution within the individual layers, at the interfaces, and within individual magnetic domains to explore the consequences of the short-range reconstructions induced by phase competition on emergent behavior in heterostructures. Specific heterostructures of current interest are artificial multiferroics created through heterostructures of ferromagnets and ferroelectrics. Additionally, topological spin textures, such as magnetic skyrmions, stabilized by interfacial Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interactions in heterostructures, are investigated and their creation, stability, and dynamics driven by interfacial spin Hall torques are explored.