Challenges to magnetic doping of thin films of the Dirac semimetal Cd3As2

Run Xiao, Jacob T. Held, Jeffrey Rable, Supriya Ghosh, Ke Wang, K. Andre Mkhoyan, Nitin Samarth

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Magnetic doping of topological quantum materials provides an attractive route for studying the effects of time-reversal symmetry breaking. Thus motivated, we explore the introduction of the transition metal Mn into thin films of the Dirac semimetal Cd3As2 during growth by molecular beam epitaxy. Scanning transmission electron microscopy measurements show the formation of a Mn-rich phase at the top surface of Mn-doped Cd3As2 thin films grown using both uniform doping and delta doping. This suggests that Mn acts as a surfactant during epitaxial growth of Cd3As2, resulting in phase separation. Magnetometry measurements of such samples indicate a ferromagnetic phase with out-of-plane magnetic anisotropy. Electrical magneto-transport measurements of these films as a function of temperature, magnetic field, and chemical potential reveal a lower carrier density and higher electron mobility compared with pristine Cd3As2 films grown under similar conditions. This suggests that the surfactant effect might also serve to remove impurities from the bulk of the film. We observe robust quantum transport (Shubnikov-de Haas oscillations and an incipient integer quantum Hall effect) in very thin (7 nm) Cd3As2 films despite being in direct contact with a structurally disordered surface ferromagnetic overlayer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number024203
JournalPhysical Review Materials
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This work was principally supported as part of the Institute for Quantum Matter, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the U.S. Department of Energy, Office of Science, Basic Energy Sciences under Award No. DE-SC0019331 (R.X., N.S.) The magnetometry measurements were supported by a grant from the University of Chicago (J.R., N.S.). The electron microscopy effort (J.H., A.M.) was supported by SMART, one of seven centers of nCORE, a Semiconductor Research Corporation program, sponsored by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and by the College of Science and Engineering Characterization Facility, University of Minnesota, which receives partial support from the NSF through the MRSEC (Award No. DMR-2011401) and the NNCI (Award No. ECCS-2025124) programs.

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© 2022 American Physical Society.

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