Strain-induced switching between noncollinear and collinear spin configuration in magnetic Mn5Ge3 films

Yufang Xie, Ye Yuan, Magdalena Birowska, Chenhui Zhang, Lei Cao, Mao Wang, Joerg Grenzer, Dominik Kriegner, Petr Doležal, Yu-Jia Zeng, Xixiang Zhang, Manfred Helm, Shengqiang Zhou, Slawomir Prucnal

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6 Scopus citations


We report the temperature-dependent magnetic and structural properties of epitaxial Mn5Ge3 thin films grown on Ge substrates. Utilizing density-functional theory (DFT) calculations and various experimental methods, we reveal mechanisms governing the switching between collinear and noncollinear spin configuration in Mn5Ge3. The Mn atoms in Mn5Ge3 occupy two distinct Wyckoff positions with fourfold (Mn1) and sixfold (Mn2) multiplicity. The DFT calculations reveal that below a critical distance of approximately 3.002 Å the coupling between Mn2 atoms is antiferromagnetic (AFM) while ferromagnetic (FM) above that critical distance. The FM coupling between Mn1 atoms is weakly affected by the strain. The observed noncollinear spin configuration is due to the coexistence of AFM and FM coupling at low temperatures. The findings give insight in developing strain-controlled spintronic devices.
Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number6
StatePublished - Aug 9 2021

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2021-08-13
Acknowledgements: Y.X. (File No. 201706340054) acknowledges the financial support by China Scholarship Council. M.B. is funded by the National Science Centre Grant No. UMO2016/23/D/ST3/03446. Access to computing facilities of PL-Grid Polish Infrastructure for Supporting Computational
Science in the European Research Space and of the Interdisciplinary Center of Modeling (ICM), University of Warsaw is gratefully acknowledged. We made use of computing facilities of TU Dresden ZIH within the project “TransPheMat.” The low-temperature x-ray diffraction was performed in MGML [47], which was supported within the program of Czech Research Infrastructures (Project No. LM2018096). Author Y.X. performed the basic magnetic and transport measurements. Y.Y. and C.Z. performed angular-dependent magnetoresistance measurements. P.D. and D.K. performed the temperature-dependent XRD measurements. M.B. performed the DFT calculations and related analyses. J.G. contributed to the discussion about structural analyses. D.K. and X.Z. contributed to the discussion about transport analyses. M.H., S.Z., L.C., Y.-J.Z., and M.W. contributed to the revision of the manuscript. S.P. designed and supervised
the whole project


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