Emergent interlayer magnetic order via strain-induced orthorhombic distortion in the 5d Mott insulator Sr2IrO4

S. Shrestha, M. Krautloher, M. Zhu, J. Kim, J. Hwang, J. Kim, J. W. Kim, B. Keimer, A. Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report a La2CuO4-like interlayer antiferromagnetic order in Sr2IrO4 films with large orthorhombic distortion (>1.5%). The biaxial lattice strain in epitaxial heterostructures of Sr2IrO4/Ca3Ru2O7 lowers the crystal symmetry of Sr2IrO4 from tetragonal (C4) to orthorhombic (C2), guiding the Ir 5d Jeff=1/2 pseudospin moment parallel to the elongated b axis via magnetic anisotropy. From resonant x-ray scattering experiments, we observed an antiferromagnetic order in the orthorhombic Sr2IrO4 film whose interlayer stacking pattern is inverted from that of the tetragonal Sr2IrO4 crystal. This interlayer stacking is similar to that of the orthorhombic La2CuO4, implying that the asymmetric interlayer exchange interactions between a and b directions exceed the anisotropic interlayer pseudodipolar interaction. Our result suggests that strain-induced distortion can provide a delicate knob for tuning the long-range magnetic order in quasi-two-dimensional systems by evoking the competition between the interlayer exchange coupling and the pseudodipolar interaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberL100404
JournalPhysical Review B
Issue number10
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We acknowledge the support of National Science Foundation Grants No. DMR-1454200, No. DMR-2011876, and No. DMR-2104296 for sample synthesis and characterization. This research used resources of the Advanced Photon Source, a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Office of Science User Facility, operated for the DOE Office of Science by Argonne National Laboratory under Contract No. DE-AC02-06CH11357. Electron microscopy was performed at the Center for Electron Microscopy and Analysis at the Ohio State University. B.K. acknowledges financial support from the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft (DFG, German Research Foundation) through Project No. 107745057-TRR 80.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2022 American Physical Society.

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics


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