Electronic transport properties of the antiferromagnetic Mott insulator Sr2IrO4 have been investigated under extremely high electric biases. Using nanoscale contacts, we apply electric fields up to a few MV/m to a single crystal of Sr2IrO4 and observe a continuous reduction in the material's resistivity with increasing bias, characterized by a reduction in the transport activation energy by as much as 16%. Temperature-dependent resistivity measurements provide a means to unambiguously retrieve the bias dependence of the activation energy from the Arrhenius plots at different biases. We further demonstrate the feasibility of reversible resistive switching induced by the electric bias, which is of interest for the emerging field of antiferromagnetic spintronics. Our findings demonstrate the potential of electrical means for tuning electronic properties in 5d transition-metal oxides and suggest a promising path towards development of next-generation functional devices.
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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 Grants No. DMR-1207577 and No. DMR-1122603. The work at University of Kentucky was supported by NSF via Grant No. DMR-1265162.
Wang, C.; Seinige, H.; Cao, Gang; Zhou, J.-S.; Goodenough, J. B.; and Tsoi, M., "Electrically Tunable Transport in the Antiferromagnetic Mott Insulator Sr2IrO4" (2015). Physics and Astronomy Faculty Publications. 382.