Spin-orbit coupling in LaAlO3/SrTiO3 interfaces: Magnetism and orbital ordering

Mark H. Fischer, Srinivas Raghu, Eun Ah Kim

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Rashba spin-orbit coupling together with electron correlations in the metallic interface between SrTiO3 and LaAlO3 can lead to an unusual combination of magnetic and orbital ordering. We consider such phenomena in the context of the recent observation of anisotropic magnetism. Firstly, we show that Rashba spin-orbit coupling can account for the observed magnetic anisotropy, assuming a correlation driven (Stoner type) instability toward ferromagnetism. Secondly, we investigate nematicity in the form of an orbital imbalance between dxz/dyz orbitals. We find an enhanced susceptibility toward nematicity due to the van Hove singularity in the low-electron-density regime. In addition, the coupling between in-plane magnetization anisotropy and nematic order provides an effective symmetry breaking field in the magnetic phase. We estimate this coupling to be substantial in the low-electron-density regime. The resulting orbital ordering can affect magneto transport.

Original languageEnglish
Article number023022
JournalNew Journal of Physics
StatePublished - Feb 2013


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