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Nat Commun. 2013;4:1442. doi: 10.1038/ncomms2447.

New diluted ferromagnetic semiconductor with Curie temperature up to 180 K and isostructural to the '122' iron-based superconductors.

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Beijing National Laboratory for Condensed Matter Physics, and Institute of Physics, Chinese, Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100190, China.


Diluted magnetic semiconductors have received much attention due to their potential applications for spintronics devices. A prototypical system (Ga,Mn)As has been widely studied since the 1990s. The simultaneous spin and charge doping via hetero-valent (Ga(3+),Mn(2+)) substitution, however, resulted in severely limited solubility without availability of bulk specimens. Here we report the synthesis of a new diluted magnetic semiconductor (Ba(1-x)K(x))(Zn(1-y)Mn(y))(2)As(2), which is isostructural to the 122 iron-based superconductors with the tetragonal ThCr(2)Si(2) (122) structure. Holes are doped via (Ba(2+), K(1+)) replacements, while spins via isovalent (Zn(2+),Mn(2+)) substitutions. Bulk samples with x=0.1-0.3 and y=0.05-0.15 exhibit ferromagnetic order with T(C) up to 180 K, which is comparable to the highest T(C) for (Ga,Mn)As and significantly enhanced from T(C) up to 50 K of the '111'-based Li(Zn,Mn)As. Moreover, ferromagnetic (Ba,K)(Zn,Mn)(2)As(2) shares the same 122 crystal structure with semiconducting BaZn(2)As(2), antiferromagnetic BaMn(2)As(2) and superconducting (Ba,K)Fe(2)As(2), which makes them promising for the development of multilayer functional devices.


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