The role of spin-orbit coupling in the electronic structure of IrO$_2$.
The delicate interplay of electronic charge, spin, and orbital degrees of freedom is in the heart of many novel phenomena across the transition metal oxide family. Here, by combining high- resolution angle resolved photoemission spectroscopy and first principles calculations (with and without spin-orbit coupling), the electronic structure of the rutile binary iridate, IrO$_2$ is investigated. The detailed study of electronic bands measured on a high-quality single crystalline sample, and use of a wide range of photon energy provide a huge improvement over the previous studies. The excellent agreement between theory and experimental results shows that the single-particle DFT description of IrO$_2$ band structure is adequate, without the need of invoking any treatment of correlation effects. Although many observed features point to a 3D nature of the electronic structure, clear surface effects are revealed. The discussion of the orbital character of the relevant bands crossing the Fermi level sheds light on spin orbit coupling-driven phenomena in this material, unveiling a spin-orbit induced avoided crossing, a property likely to play key role in its large spin Hall effect.
Publisher URL: http://arxiv.org/abs/1707.01624