Abstract: Advances in scaling down heterostructures and having an improved interface quality together with atomically thin two-dimensional materials suggest a novel approach to systematically design materials. A given material can be transformed through proximity effects whereby it acquires properties of its neighbors, for example, becoming superconducting, magnetic, topologically nontrivial, or with an enhanced spin–orbit coupling. Such proximity effects not only complement the conventional methods of designing materials by doping or functionalization but also can overcome their various limitations. In proximitized materials, it is possible to realize properties that are not present in any constituent region of the considered heterostructure. While the focus is on magnetic and spin–orbit proximity effects with their applications in spintronics, the outlined principles also provide a broader framework for employing other proximity effects to tailor materials and realize novel phenomena.

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DOI: 10.1016/j.mattod.2018.05.003