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Controllable Thickness Inhomogeneity and Berry Curvature Engineering of Anomalous Hall Effect in SrRuO3 Ultrathin Films

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journal contribution
posted on 26.03.2020, 14:46 authored by Lingfei Wang, Qiyuan Feng, Han Gyeol Lee, Eun Kyo Ko, Qingyou Lu, Tae Won Noh
In quantum matters hosting electron–electron correlation and spin–orbit coupling, spatial inhomogeneities, arising from competing ground states, can be essential for understanding exotic topological properties. A prominent example is Hall anomalies observed in SrRuO3 films, which were interpreted in terms of either magnetic skyrmion-induced topological Hall effect or inhomogeneous anomalous Hall effect (AHE). To clarify this ambiguity, we systematically investigated the evolution of AHE with controllable inhomogeneities in SrRuO3 film thickness (tSRO). By exploiting the step-flow growth of SrRuO3 films, we induced a microscopically ordered stripe pattern with one-unit-cell differences in tSRO. The associated spatial distribution of momentum-space Berry curvatures enables a two-channel AHE with hump-like Hall anomalies, which can be continuously engineered according to non-integer tSRO. We further microscopically characterized the stripe-like ferromagnetic domains and two-step magnetic switching behavior in the inhomogeneous SrRuO3 film. These unique features can be utilized to identify the two-channel AHE model and understand its microscopic origin.