In a groundbreaking study published in Nature Materials, researchers have unveiled a new oxide material, Ca3Co3O8, that challenges traditional understandings of material properties. By manipulating correlated oxides with atomic precision, the team has achieved a remarkable combination of ferromagnetism, polar distortion, and metallicity in a single material, sparking widespread scientific interest in the field of polar metals.

Historically, the coexistence of electric polarization and magnetic order in materials was considered impossible. However, the emergence of the concept of polar metals has opened up new possibilities, suggesting that certain materials can exhibit both polarization and metallic properties simultaneously. Despite this breakthrough, integrating ferromagnetism into polar metals has presented a major challenge, as it requires reconciling the conflicting nature of polarization, ferromagnetism, and metallicity within a single material.

Through innovative use of oxygen polyhedra to manipulate material properties, researchers have successfully developed Ca3Co3O8, a novel quasi-two-dimensional functional oxide that combines elements from the double-layer Ruddlesden-Popper (RP) structure and brownmillerite (BM) structure. Utilizing advanced testing systems at the Steady High Magnetic Field Facility (SHMFF) at HFIPS, the team confirmed significant polarization ordering in Ca3Co3O8, with the displacement of Co ions in the double-layer CoO6 octahedron identified as a key factor contributing to its polarity.

By leveraging the SHMFF’s cutting-edge testing equipment, the researchers also observed a notable topological Hall effect in Ca3Co3O8, further enhancing the material’s potential for exploring electric and magnetic correlated properties. The robust topological Hall effect not only enhances our understanding of magnetic materials and interactions but also paves the way for new research and applications in the field of spintronics.

The development of Ca3Co3O8 represents a significant achievement in the field of materials science, offering a fresh perspective on the design and exploration of correlated oxides. By breaking new ground in the realm of polar metals, this innovative material opens up a world of possibilities for future research and technological advancements in the field of electric and magnetic materials.


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