Temperature-dependent magnetotransport properties of the antiferromagnetic semiconductor Sr2IrO4 are investigated with point-contact devices. The point-contact technique allows to probe very small volumes and, therefore, to look for electronic transport on a microscopic scale. Point-contact measurements with single crystals of Sr2IrO4 were intended to see whether the additional local resistance associated with a small contact area between a sharpened Cu tip and the antiferromagnet shows magnetoresistance (MR) such as that seen in bulk crystals. Point-contact measurements at liquid nitrogen temperature revealed large MRs (up to 28%) for modest magnetic fields (250 mT) applied within an IrO2 (ab) plane with angular dependence showing a crossover from four-fold to two-fold symmetry with an increasing magnetic field. Point contact measurement exhibits distinctive anisotropic magnetoresistance (AMR) in comparison to a bulk experiment, imposing intriguing questions about the mechanism of AMR in this material. Temperature-dependent MR measurements show that the MR falls to zero at the Neel temperature, but the temperature dependence of the MR ratio differs qualitatively from that of the resistivity. This AMR study helps to unveil the entanglement between electronic transport and magnetism in Sr2IrO4 while the observed magnetoresistive phenomena can be potentially used to sense the antiferromagnetic order parameter in spintronic applications.

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Published in Journal of Applied Physics, v. 117, no. 17, article 17A310, p. 1-4.

Copyright 2015 American Institute of Physics. This article may be downloaded for personal use only. Any other use requires prior permission of the author and the American Institute of Physics.

The following article appeared in Journal of Applied Physics, v. 117, no. 17, article 17A310, p. 1-4 and may be found at http://dx.doi.org/10.1063/1.4913300.

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This work was supported in part by C-SPIN, one of six centers of STARnet, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program, sponsored by MARCO and DARPA, and by NSF Grant Nos. DMR-1207577, DMR-1265162, and DMR-1122603.

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