Condensed-matter systems that simultaneously exhibit superconductivity and ferromagnetism are rare due the antagonistic relationship between conventional spin-singlet superconductivity and ferromagnetic order. In materials in which superconductivity and magnetic order are known to coexist (such as some heavy-fermion materials), the superconductivity is thought to be of an unconventional nature. Recently, the conducting gas that lives at the interface between the perovskite band insulators LaAlO3 (LAO) and SrTiO3 (STO) has also been shown to host both superconductivity and magnetism. Most previous research has focused on LAO/STO samples in which the interface is on the (001) crystal plane. Relatively little work has focused on the (111) crystal orientation, which has hexagonal symmetry at the interface, and has been predicted to have potentially interesting topological properties, including unconventional superconducting pairing states. Here we report measurements of the magnetoresistance of (111) LAO/STO heterostructures at temperatures at which they are also superconducting. As with the (001) structures, the magnetoresistance is hysteretic, indicating the coexistence of magnetism and superconductivity, but in addition, we find that this magnetoresistance is anisotropic. Such an anisotropic response is completely unexpected in the superconducting state and suggests that (111) LAO/STO heterostructures may support unconventional superconductivity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Condensed Matter Physics