D. J. Groenendijk, et al., “Spin-Orbit Semimetal SrIrO3 in the Two-Dimensional Limit”, PHYSICAL REVIEW LETTERS, vol. 119, p. 256403, 2017.Abstract
We investigate the thickness-dependent electronic properties of ultrathin SrIrO3 and discover a transition from a semimetallic to a correlated insulating state below 4 unit cells. Low-temperature magnetoconductance measurements show that spin fluctuations in the semimetallic state are significantly enhanced while approaching the transition point. The electronic properties are further studied by scanning tunneling spectroscopy, showing that 4 unit cell SrIrO(3)d is on the verge of a gap opening. Our density functional theory calculations reproduce the critical thickness of the transition and show that the opening of a gap in ultrathin SrIrO3 requires antiferromagnetic order.