3 years ago

A Magnetoresistance Induced by a Nonzero Berry Phase in GeTe/Sb2Te3 Chalcogenide Superlattices

A Magnetoresistance Induced by a Nonzero Berry Phase in GeTe/Sb2Te3 Chalcogenide Superlattices
Alexander V. Kolobov, Yuta Saito, Noriyuki Miyata, Paul Fons, Kirill Mitrofanov, Nobuki Inoue, Junji Tominaga, Hisao Nakamura
The chalcogenide alloy Ge–Sb–Te (GST) has not only been used in rewritable digital versatile discs, but also in nonvolatile electrical phase change memory as a key recording material. Although GST has been believed for a long time not to show magnetic properties unless doped with magnetic impurities, it has recently been reported that superlattices (SLs) with the structure [(GeTe)L(Sb2Te3)M]N (where L, M, and N are usually integers) have a large magnetoresistance at room temperature for particular combinations of L and M. Here it is reported that when [(GeTe)L(Sb2Te3)M]N chalcogenide SL films are thermally annealed at 470 K and cooled down to room temperature under an external magnetic field accompanied by current pulse injections, a large magnetoresistance change (>2500 Ω) is induced. This study shows that the phenomenon has a strong correlation with the GeTe thickness and the periodic structure of the SL films, and that it is induced by the structural phase transition between electrically nonpolar and polar phases in the GeTe layers in the SLs. This study proposes that the relationship between the polar (ferroelectric) phase and the Berry curvature in the SLs is responsible for the magnetoresistance change. A chalcogenide superlattice composed of GeTe and Sb2Te3 sublayers is usually nonmagnetic. However, once exposed to thermal annealing under a magnetic field accompanied by current injections, it generates a large magnetoresistance at specific GeTe film thicknesses of 0.4 and 0.8 nm.

Publisher URL: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/resolve/doi

DOI: 10.1002/adfm.201702243

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