Scientists gain insight into origin of tungsten-ditelluride's magnetoresistance

October 20, 2015 by Angela Hardin, Argonne National Laboratory
A team of researchers from Argonne's Materials Science Division and Northern Illinois University, working collaboratively with researchers at Argonne's Center for Nanoscale Materials, report two new findings on WTe2: (1) WTe2 is electronically 3-D with a mass anisotropy as low as 2, and (2) the mass anisotropy varies with temperature and follows the magnetoresistance behavior of the Fermi liquid state. The results not only provide a general scaling approach for the anisotropic magnetoresistance but also are crucial for correctly understanding the electronic properties of WTe2, including the origin of the remarkable "turn-on" behavior in the resistance versus temperature curve, which has been widely observed in many materials and assumed to be a metal-insulator transition. Credit: Argonne National Laboratory

Scientists recently discovered that tungsten ditelluride (WTe2) is electronically three-dimensional with a low anisotropy. Anisotropy reflects the change in properties of a material when the direction of the current or the applied magnetic field is varied.

Similar to graphite consisting of weakly bound graphene layers, WTe2 is a layered material that could be reduced to few layers in thickness or a monolayer and be used in making in other electronics. The material was originally thought to be two-dimensional in nature because of the ease with which its layers could be separated.

WTe2 has been the subject of increased scientific interest since a 2014 research study outlined its unusual magnetoresistance, which is the ability of a material to change the value of its electrical resistance when subjected to an external .

This particular finding "is interesting in its own right because it shows that the mechanical and electrical properties of a material are not always as closely linked as we may assume," wrote Kamran Behnia, director of quantum matter research at Le Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris, in an opinion piece on the latest research discovery about WTe2 published in journal Physics, which provides news and commentary on select papers from American Physical Society journals.

Researchers also discovered that the of WTe2 varies and displays the magnetoresistance behavior of the Fermi liquid state, which is a theoretical model that describes the normal state of most metals at sufficiently low temperatures.

"In addition to its small values, we found that the anisotropy also varies with temperature and follows the magnetoresistance behavior. This implies a possible temperature induced change in the electronic structure of this material," said Argonne's Zhili Xiao, who led this research. "These findings are important for accurately understanding the electronic properties of WTe2 and other extremely magnetoresistance ."

Explore further: Traveling electrons in loosely bound layers

More information: L. R. Thoutam et al. Temperature-Dependent Three-Dimensional Anisotropy of the Magnetoresistance in , Physical Review Letters (2015). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.115.046602

Related Stories

Traveling electrons in loosely bound layers

September 25, 2015

Extremely large magnetoresistance (XMR) was recently discovered in WTe2, triggering extensive research on this material regarding the XMR origin. Since WTe2 is a layered compound with metal layers sandwiched between adjacent ...

Unstoppable magnetoresistance

October 9, 2014

Mazhar Ali, a fifth-year graduate student in the laboratory of Bob Cava, the Russell Wellman Moore Professor of Chemistry at Princeton University, has spent his academic career discovering new superconductors, materials coveted ...

CMR induced in pure lanthanum manganite

August 11, 2015

Colossal magnetoresistance is a property with practical applications in a wide array of electronic tools including magnetic sensors and magnetic RAM. New research from a team including Carnegie's Maria Baldini, Ho-Kwang "Dave" ...

Recommended for you

Researchers capture an image of negative capacitance in action

January 21, 2019

For the first time ever, an international team of researchers imaged the microscopic state of negative capacitance. This novel result provides researchers with fundamental, atomistic insight into the physics of negative capacitance, ...

Toward ultrafast spintronics

January 21, 2019

Electronics have advanced through continuous improvements in microprocessor technology since the 1960s. However, this process of refinement is projected to stall in the near future due to constraints imposed by the laws of ...

New thermoelectric material delivers record performance

January 17, 2019

Taking advantage of recent advances in using theoretical calculations to predict the properties of new materials, researchers reported Thursday the discovery of a new class of half-Heusler thermoelectric compounds, including ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.