Strong ferromagnetism at the surface of an antiferromagnet caused by buried magnetic moments

A. Chikina, M. Höppner, S. Seiro, K. Kummer, S. Danzenbächer, S. Patil, A. Generalov, M. Güttler, Yu Kucherenko, E. V. Chulkov, Yu M. Koroteev, K. Köpernik, C. Geibel, M. Shi, M. Radovic, C. Laubschat, D. V. Vyalikh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Citations (Scopus)


Carrying a large, pure spin magnetic moment of 7 μB per atom in the half-filled 4f shell, divalent europium is an outstanding element for assembling novel magnetic devices in which a two-dimensional electron gas may be polarized due to exchange interaction with an underlying magnetically-active Eu layer. Here we show that the Si-Rh-Si surface trilayer of the antiferromagnet EuRh 2 Si 2 bears a surface state, which exhibits an unexpected and large spin splitting controllable by temperature. The splitting sets in below ∼32.5 K, well above the ordering temperature of the Eu 4f moments (∼24.5 K) in the bulk, indicating a larger ordering temperature in the topmost Eu layers. The driving force for the itinerant ferromagnetism at the surface is the aforementioned exchange interaction. Such a splitting may also be induced into states of functional surface layers deposited onto the surface of EuRh 2 Si 2 or similarly ordered magnetic materials with metallic or semiconducting properties.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3171
JournalNature Communications
Publication statusPublished - 21 Jan 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Physics and Astronomy(all)

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