Indexed on: 07 Feb '13Published on: 07 Feb '13Published in: Nature communications
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.