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Because of their potential application in spintronic devices such as next-generation spin-based transistors, the quest for new materials with significant spin-orbit interactions in the electronic ground state is an area of intense research. Since the spin-orbit interaction increases rapidly with atomic number, materials containing heavy elements are natural candidates for this field of inquiry. A novel oxide material containing heavy Iridium atoms displays remarkable properties dominated by spin-orbit interactions in the Iridium 5d valence states according to research carried out at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Photon Source at Argonne and reported in Physical Review Letters.

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