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Nature. 2004 Aug 5;430(7000):630.

Thin films: unexpected magnetism in a dielectric oxide.

Author information

1
SFI-Trinity Nanoscience Laboratory, Physics Department, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Abstract

It is generally accepted that magnetic order in an insulator requires the cation to have partially filled shells of d or f electrons. Here we show that thin films of hafnium dioxide (HfO2), an insulating oxide better known as a dielectric layer for nanoscale electronic devices, can be ferromagnetic even without doping. This discovery challenges our understanding of magnetism in insulators, because neither Hf4+ nor O2- are magnetic ions and the d and f shells of the Hf4+ ion are either empty or full.

PMID:
15295588
DOI:
10.1038/430630a
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