Publications by Thorsten Hesjedal


Room-temperature helimagnetism in FeGe thin films

Scientific Reports Nature Publishing Group 7 (2017) 123

S Zhang, I Stasinopoulos, T Lancaster, F Xiao, A Bauer, F Rucker, AA Baker, AI Figueroa, Z Salman, FL Pratt, SJ Blundell, T Prokscha, A Suter, J Waizner, M Garst, D Grundler, G van der Laan, C Pfleiderer, T Hesjedal

Chiral magnets are promising materials for the realisation of high-density and low-power spintronic memory devices. For these future applications, a key requirement is the synthesis of appropriate materials in the form of thin films ordering well above room temperature. Driven by the Dzyaloshinskii-Moriya interaction, the cubic compound FeGe exhibits helimagnetism with a relatively high transition temperature of 278K in bulk crystals. We demonstrate that this temperature can be enhanced significantly in thin films. Using x-ray spectroscopic and ferromagnetic resonance techniques, we provide unambiguous experimental evidence for long-wavelength helimagnetic order at room temperature and magnetic properties similar to the bulk material. We obtain αintr = 0:0036 ± 0:0003 at 310K for the intrinsic damping parameter. We probe the dynamics of the system by means of muon-spin rotation, indicating that the ground state is reached via a freezing out of slow dynamics. Our work paves the way towards the fabrication of thin films of chiral magnets that host certain spin whirls, so-called skyrmions, at room temperature and potentially offer integrability into modern electronics.


Temperature evolution of topological surface states in bismuth selenide thin films studied using terahertz spectroscopy

Proceedings of SPIE SPIE 10103D (2017)

VS Kamboj, A Singh, HE Beere, T Hesjedal, CHW Barnes, DA Ritchie

We have measured the terahertz (THz) conductance of a 23 quintuple layer thick film of bismuth selenide (Bi2Se3) and found signatures for topological surface states (TSSs) below 50 K. We provide evidence for a topological phase transition as a function of lattice temperature by optical means. In this work, we used THz time-domain spectroscopy (THz-TDS) to measure the optical conductance of Bi2Se3, revealing metallic behavior at temperatures below 50 K. We measure the THz conductance of Bi2Se3 as 10 e2/h at 4 K, indicative of a surface dominated response. Furthermore, the THz conductance spectra reveal characteristic features at ~1.9 THz attributed to the optical phonon mode, which is weakly visible at low temperatures but which becomes more prominent with increasing temperature. These results present a first look at the temperature-dependent behavior of TSSs in Bi2Se3 and the capability to selectively identify and address them using THz spectroscopy.


Correction to Step-Flow Growth of Bi 2 Te 3 Nanobelts

Crystal Growth & Design 17 (2017) 1438-1438

P Schönherr, T Tilbury, H Wang, AA Haghighirad, V Srot, PA van Aken, T Hesjedal


X-ray magnetic circular dichroism study of Dy-doped Bi2Te3 topological insulator thin films

Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials Elsevier 422 (2016) 93-99

AI Figueroa, AA Baker, SE Harrison, K Kummer, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

Magnetic doping of topological insulators (TIs) is crucial for unlocking novel quantum phenomena, paving the way for spintronics applications. Recently, we have shown that doping with rare earth ions introduces large magnetic moments and allows for high doping concentrations without the loss of crystal quality, however no long range magnetic order was observed. In Dy-doped Bi2Te3 we found a band gap opening above a critical doping concentration, despite the paramagnetic bulk behavior. Here, we present a surface-sensitive x-ray magnetic circular dichroism (XMCD) study of an in situ cleaved lm in the cleanest possible environment. The Dy M4;5 absorption spectra measured with circularly polarized x-rays are tied using multiplet calculations to obtain the e ective magnetic moment. Arnott-Noakes plots, measured by the Dy M5 XMCD as a function of field at low temperatures, give a negative transition temperature. The evaporation of a ferromagnetic Co thin lm did not introduce ferromagnetic ordering of the Dy dopants either; instead a lowering of the transition temperature was observed, pointing towards an antiferromagnetic ordering scenario. This result shows that there is a competition between the magnetic exchange interaction and the Zeeman interaction. The latter favors the Co and Dy magnetic moments to be both aligned along the direction of the applied magnetic eld, while the exchange interaction is minimized if the Dy and Co atoms are antiferromagnetically coupled, as in zero applied field.


Topological insulators: Engineered heterostructures

Nature Materials Nature Publishing Group 16 (2016) 3-4

T Hesjedal, Y Chen

The combination of topological properties and magnetic order can lead to new quantum states and exotic physical phenomena. In particular, the coupling between topological insulators and antiferromagnets enables magnetic and electronic structural engineering.


Proposal of a micromagnetic standard problem for ferromagnetic resonance simulations

Journal of Magnetism and Magnetic Materials Elsevier 421 (2016) 428-439

AA Baker, M Beg, G Ashton, M Albert, D Chernyshenko, W Wang, S Zhang, M-A Bisotti, M Franchin, CL Hu, R Stamps, T Hesjedal, H Fangohr

Nowadays, micromagnetic simulations are a common tool for studying a wide range of different magnetic phenomena, including the ferromagnetic resonance. A technique for evaluating reliability and validity of different micromagnetic simulation tools is the simulation of proposed standard problems. We propose a new standard problem by providing a detailed specification and analysis of a sufficiently simple problem. By analyzing the magnetization dynamics in a thin permalloy square sample, triggered by a well defined excitation, we obtain the ferromagnetic resonance spectrum and identify the resonance modes via Fourier transform. Simulations are performed using both finite difference and finite element numerical methods, with OOMMF and Nmag simulators, respectively. We report the effects of initial conditions and simulation parameters on the character of the observed resonance modes for this standard problem. We provide detailed instructions and code to assist in using the results for evaluation of new simulator tools, and to help with numerical calculation of ferromagnetic resonance spectra and modes in general.


Analytical STEM Study of Dy-doped Bi2Te3 Thin Films

European Microscopy Congress 2016: Proceedings, (Ed.). Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA (2016) 1050-1051

V Srot, P Schönherr, B Bussmann, SE Harrison, PA van Aken, T Hesjedal


Experimental and density functional study of Mn doped Bi₂Te₃ topological insulator

APL Materials American Institute of Physics 4 (2016) 126103-1

A Ghasemi, D Kepaptsoglou, AI Figueroa, GA Naydenov, PJ Hasnip, MIJ Probert, Q Ramasse, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal, V Lazarov

We present a nanoscale structural and density functional study of the Mn doped 3D topological insulator Bi2Te3. X-ray absorption near edge structure show that Mn has valency of nominally 2+. Extended x-ray absorption fine structure spectroscopy in combination with electron energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) shows that Mn is a substitutional dopant of Bi and Te and also resides in the van der Waals gap between the quintuple layers of Bi2Te3. Combination of aberration-corrected scanningtransmission electron microscopy and EELS show that Mn substitution of Te occurs in film regions with increased Mn concentration. First-principles calculations show that the Mn dopants favor octahedral sites and are ferromagnetically coupled.


Step-flow growth of Bi2Te3 nanobelts

Crystal Growth and Design American Chemical Society 16 (2016) 6961-6966

P Schoenherr, T Tilbury, H Wang, AA Haghighirad, V Srot, P van Aken, T Hesjedal

Understanding the growth mechanism of nanostructures is key to tailoring their properties. Many compounds form nanowires following the vapor-liquid-solid (VLS) growth mechanism, and the growth of Bi2Te3 nanobelts was also explained following the VLS route. Here, we present another growth mechanism of Bi2Te3 nano- and sub-micron belts and ribbons. The samples were grown by physical vapor transport from Bi2Te3 precursor using TiO2 nanoparticles as catalyst, and analyzed by scanning electron microscopy and scanning transmission electron microscopy. The growth starts from a Te-rich cluster, and proceeds via a thin, tip-catalyzed primary layer growing in the [110] direction. The primary layer serves as a support for subsequent step-flow growth. The precursor predominantly absorbs on the substrate and reaches the belt by migration from the base to the tip. Terrace edges pose energy barriers that enhance the growth rate of secondary layers compared to the primary layer. Broadening of the sidewalls is commonly observed and leads to triangular voids that can even result in a branching of the growing belts. Step-flow growth of Bi2Te3 sub-micron belts is different from the spiral-like growth mode of Bi2Te3 thin films, and an important step towards the growth of layered topological insulator nanostructures.


Spin pumping in magnetic trilayer structures with an MgO barrier

Scientific Reports Nature Publishing Group 6 (2016) 35582-

AA Baker, AI Figueroa, D Pingstone, VK Lazarov, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

We present a study of the interaction mechanisms in magnetic trilayer structures with an MgO barrier grown by molecular beam epitaxy. The interlayer exchange coupling, Aex, is determined using SQUID magnetometry and ferromagnetic resonance (FMR), displaying an unexpected oscillatory behaviour as the thickness, tMgO, is increased from 1 to 4 nm. Transmission electron microscopy confirms the continuity and quality of the tunnelling barrier, eliminating the prospect of exchange arising from direct contact between the two ferromagnetic layers. The Gilbert damping is found to be almost independent of the MgO thickness, suggesting the suppression of spin pumping. The element-specific technique of x-ray detected FMR reveals a small dynamic exchange interaction, acting in concert with the static interaction to induce coupled precession across the multilayer stack. These results highlight the potential of spin pumping and spin transfer torque for device applications in magnetic tunnel junctions relying on commonly used MgO barriers.


Free-standing millimetre-long Bi2Te3 sub-micron belts catalyzed by TiO2 nanoparticles

Nanoscale Research Letters SpringerOpen 11 (2016) 308

P Schoenherr, F Zhang, D Kojda, RU Mitdank, M Albrecht, SF Fischer, T Hesjedal

Physical vapour deposition (PVD) is used to grow millimetre-long Bi2 Te3 sub-micron belts catalysed by TiO2 nanoparticles. The catalytic efficiency of TiO2 nanoparticles for the nanostructure growth is compared with the catalyst-free growth employing scanning electron microscopy. The catalyst-coated and catalyst-free substrates are arranged side-by-side, and overgrown at the same time, to assure identical growth conditions in the PVD furnace. It is found that the catalyst enhances the yield of the belts. Very long belts were achieved with a growth rate of 28 nm/min. A ∼1-mm-long belt with a rectangular cross-section was obtained after 8 h of growth. The thickness and width were determined by atomic force microscopy, and their ratio is ∼1:10. The chemical composition was determined to be stoichiometric Bi2Te3 using energy-dispersive X-ray spectroscopy. Temperature-dependent conductivity measurements show a characteristic increase of the conductivity at low temperatures. The room temperature conductivity of 0.20×1^5 S⋅m^−1 indicates an excellent sample quality.


Strain in epitaxial MnSi films on Si(111) in the thick film limit studied by polarization-dependent extended x-ray absorption fine structure

Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics American Physical Society (2016)

AI Figueroa, SL Zhang, AA Baker, R Chalasani, A Kohn, SC Speller, D Gianolio, C Pfleiderer, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

We report a study of the strain state of epitaxial MnSi films on Si(111) substrates in the thick film limit (100-500 A) as a function of film thickness using polarization-dependent extended x-ray absorption fine structure (EXAFS). All films investigated are phase-pure and of high quality with a sharp interface between MnSi and Si. The investigated MnSi films are in a thickness regime where the magnetic transition temperature Tc assumes a thickness-independent enhanced value of ≥43 K as compared with that of bulk MnSi, where Tc ≈ 29 K. A detailed refinement of the EXAFS data reveals that the Mn positions are unchanged, whereas the Si positions vary along the out-of-plane [111]-direction, alternating in orientation from unit cell to unit cell. Thus, for thick MnSi films, the unit cell volume is essentially that of bulk MnSi — except in the vicinity of the interface with the Si substrate (thin film limit). In view of the enhanced magnetic transition temperature we conclude that the mere presence of the interface, and its specific characteristics, strongly affects the magnetic properties of the entire MnSi film, even far from the interface. Our analysis provides invaluable information about the local strain at the MnSi/Si(111) interface. The presented methodology of polarization dependent EXAFS can also be employed to investigate the local structure of other interesting interfaces.


Imaging and manipulation of skyrmion lattice domains in Cu2OSeO3

Applied Physics Letters American Institute of Physics 109 (2016) 192406-

S Zhang, A Bauer, H Berger, C Pfleiderer, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

Nanoscale chiral skyrmions in noncentrosymmetric helimagnets are promising binary state variables in highdensity, low-energy nonvolatile memory. Nevertheless, they normally appear in an ordered, single-domain lattice phase, which makes it difficult to write information unless they are spatially broken up into smaller units, each representing a bit. Thus, the formation and manipulation of skyrmion lattice domains is a prerequisite for memory applications. Here, using an imaging technique based on resonant magnetic x-ray diffraction, we demonstrate the mapping and manipulation of skyrmion lattice domains in Cu2OSeO3. The material is particularly interesting for applications owing to its insulating nature, allowing for electric fielddriven domain manipulation.


One-step SnO2 nanotree-growth

Chemistry - A European Journal Wiley 22 (2016) 13823-13825

P Schoenherr, T Hesjedal

We present a comparison between Au, TiO2, and self-catalysed growth of SnO2 nanostructures using chemical vapour deposition. TiO2 enables growth of a nanonetwork of SnO2, whereas self-catalysed growth results in nanoclusters. Using Au catalyst, single-crystalline SnO2 nanowire trees can be grown in a one-step process. Two types of trees are identified that differ in size, presence of a catalytic tip, and degree of branching. The growth mechanism of these nanotrees is based on branch-splitting and self-seeding by the catalytic tip, facilitating at least three levels of branching, namely trunk, branch, and leaf.


Structural, electronic, and magnetic investigation of magnetic ordering in MBE-grown CrxSb2−xTe3 thin films

Europhysics Letters European Physical Society (2016)

LJ Collins-McIntyre, LB Duffy, A Singh, N-J Steinke, CJ Kinane, TR Charlton, A Pushp, AJ Kellock, SSP Parkin, SN Holmes, CHW Barnes, G van der Laan, S Langridge, T Hesjedal

We report the structural, electronic, and magnetic study of Cr-doped Sb2Te3 thin films grown by a two-step deposition process using molecular-beam epitaxy (MBE). The samples were investigated using a variety of complementary techniques, namely, x-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy, SQUID magnetometry, magneto-transport, and polarized neutron reflectometry (PNR). It is found that the samples retain good crystalline order up to a doping level of x = 0:42 (in CrxSb2 xTe3), above which degradation of the crystal structure is observed by XRD. Fits to the recorded XRD spectra indicate a general reduction in c-axis lattice parameter as a function of doping, consistent with substitutional doping with an ion of smaller ionic radius. The samples show soft ferromagnetic behavior with the easy axis of magnetization being out-of-plane. The saturation magnetization is dependent on the doping level, and reaches from ~2 μB to almost 3 μB per Cr ion. The transition temperature (Tc) depends strongly on the Cr concentration and is found to increase with doping concentration. For the highest achievable doping level for phase-pure films of x = 0:42, a Tc of 125 K was determined. Electric transport measurements find surface-dominated transport below ~10 K. The magnetic properties extracted from anomalous Hall effect data are in excellent agreement with the magnetometry data. PNR studies indicate a uniform magnetization profile throughout the film, with no indication of enhanced magnetic order towards the sample surface.


High resolution STEM study of dy-doped Bi2Te3 thin films

Microscopy and Microanalysis Cambridge University Press 22 (2016) 1516-1517

V Srot, P Schoenherr, B Bussmann, SE Harrison, PA van Aken, T Hesjedal

Breaking the time-reversal symmetry (TRS) in three-dimensional (3D) topological insulators (TIs) is essential for unlocking exotic physical states and exploring potential device application. Doping of the prototypical 3D-TI Bi2Te3 with transition metal ions can lead to ferromagnetic ordering at low temperatures. Here we report the study of incorporation of dysprosium (Dy) into Bi2Te3 with the intent to achieve higher ferromagnetic ordering temperatures and higher magnetic moments.


Resonant elastic x-ray scattering from the skyrmion lattice in Cu₂OSeO₃

Physical Review B - Condensed Matter and Materials Physics American Physical Society 93 (2016) 214420-

S Zhang, A Bauer, H Berger, C Pfleiderer, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

We report the study of the skyrmion state near the surface of Cu₂OSeO₃ using soft resonant elastic x-ray scattering (REXS) at the Cu L₃ edge. Within the lateral sampling area of 200 × 200 µm², we found a long-range-ordered skyrmion lattice phase as well as the formation of skyrmion domains via the multiple splitting of the diffraction spots. In a recent REXS study of the skyrmion phase of Cu₂OSeO₃ [Phys. Rev. Lett. 112, 167202 (2014)], Langner et al. reported a double-splitting which they interpret as arising from the moiré pattern of two superposed skyrmion sublattices, originating from the two inequivalent Cu sites. However, we find no energy splitting of the Cu peak in xray absorption measurements, which is to be expected considering the system in more detail. We show that the experimental data reported by Langner et al. does not support their interpretation and discuss alternative origins of the peak splitting. In particular, we find that for magnetic field directions deviating from the major cubic axes, a multidomain skyrmion lattice state is obtained, which consistently explains the splitting of the magnetic spots into two—and more—peaks.


Multidomain Skyrmion Lattice State in Cu₂OSeO₃

Nano Letters American Chemical Society 16 (2016) 3285-3291

SL Zhang, A Bauer, DM Burn, P Milde, E Neuber, LM Eng, H Berger, C Pfleiderer, G van der Laan, T Hesjedal

Magnetic skyrmions in chiral magnets are nanoscale, topologically-protected magnetization swirls that are promising candidates for spintronics memory carriers. Therefore, observing and manipulating the skyrmion state on the surface level of the materials are of great importance for future applications. Here, we report a controlled way of creating a multidomain skyrmion state near the surface of a Cu₂OSeO₃ single crystal, observed by soft resonant elastic x-ray scattering. This technique is an ideal tool to probe the magnetic order at the L₃ edge of 3d metal compounds giving a depth sensitivity of ~50 nm. The single-domain sixfold-symmetric skyrmion lattice can be broken up into domains overcoming the propagation directions imposed by the cubic anisotropy by applying the magnetic field in directions deviating from the major cubic axes. Our findings open the door to a new way to manipulate and engineer the skyrmion state locally on the surface, or on the level of individual skyrmions, which will enable applications in the future.


The Magneto-Hall Difference and the Planar Extraordinary Hall Balance

AIP Advances American Institute of Physics (2016)

T Hesjedal, SL Zhang

The extraordinary Hall balance (EHB) is a general device concept that harnesses the net extraordinary Hall effect (EHE) arising from two independent magnetic layers, which are electrically in parallel. Different EHB behavior can be achieved by tuning the strength and type of interlayer coupling, i.e., ferromagnetic or antiferromagnetic of varying strength, allowing for logic and memory applications. The physics of the EHE in such a multilayered systems, especially the interface-induced effect, will be discussed. A discrepancy between the magnetization and the Hall effect, called the magneto-Hall difference (MHD) is found, which is not expected in conventional EHE systems. By taking advantage of the MHD effect, and by optimizing the materials structure, magnetoresistance ratios in excess of 40,000% can be achieved at room-temperature. We present a new design, the planar EHB, which has the potential to achieve significantly larger magnetoresistance ratios.


Oxidation effects in rare earth doped topological insulator thin films

Scientific Reports Nature Publishing Group 6 (2016)

AI Figueroa, G van der Laan, SE Harrison, G Cibin, T Hesjedal

The breaking of time-reversal symmetry (TRS) in topological insulators is a prerequisite for unlocking their exotic properties and for observing the quantum anomalous Hall effect (QAHE). The incorporation of dopants which exhibit magnetic long-range order is the most promising approach for TRS-breaking. REBiTe3, wherein 50% of the Bi is substitutionally replaced by a RE atom (RE=Gd, Dy, and Ho), is a predicted QAHE system. Despite the low solubility of REs in bulk crystals of a few %, highly doped thin films have been demonstrated, which are free of secondary phases and of high crystalline quality. Here we study the effects of exposure to atmosphere of rare rarth-doped Bi2(Se,Te)3 thin films using x-ray absorption spectroscopy. We demonstrate that these RE dopants are all trivalent and effectively substitute for Bi3+ in the Bi2(Se,Te)3 matrix. We find an unexpected high degree of sample oxidation for the most highly doped samples, which is not restricted to the surface of the films. In the low doping limit, the RE-doped films mostly show surface oxidation, which can be prevented by surface passivation, encapsulation, or in-situ cleaving to recover the topological surface state.

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