Voltage-induced ferromagnetism in a diamagnet

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Science Advances  29 Jul 2020:
Vol. 6, no. 31, eabb7721
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abb7721


Increasingly impressive demonstrations of voltage-controlled magnetism have been achieved recently, highlighting potential for low-power data processing and storage. Magnetoionic approaches appear particularly promising, electrolytes and ionic conductors being capable of on/off control of ferromagnetism and tuning of magnetic anisotropy. A clear limitation, however, is that these devices either electrically tune a known ferromagnet or electrically induce ferromagnetism from another magnetic state, e.g., antiferromagnetic. Here, we demonstrate that ferromagnetism can be voltage-induced even from a diamagnetic (zero-spin) state suggesting that useful magnetic phases could be electrically induced in “nonmagnetic” materials. We use ionic liquid–gated diamagnetic FeS2 as a model system, showing that as little as 1 V induces a reversible insulator-metal transition by electrostatic surface inversion. Anomalous Hall measurements then reveal electrically tunable surface ferromagnetism at up to 25 K. Density functional theory–based modeling explains this in terms of Stoner ferromagnetism induced via filling of a narrow eg band.

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