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Krempasky, J.; Muff, S.; Bisti, F.; Fanciulli, M.; Volfová, H.; Weber, A. P.; Pilet, N.; Warnicke, P.; Ebert, H.; Braun, J.; Bertran, F.; Volobuev, V. V.; Minár, J.; Springholz, G.; Dil, J. H.; Strocov, V. N. (2016): Entanglement and manipulation of the magnetic and spin-orbit order in multiferroic Rashba semiconductors. In: Nature Communications, Vol. 7, 13071


Entanglement of the spin-orbit and magnetic order in multiferroic materials bears a strong potential for engineering novel electronic and spintronic devices. Here, we explore the electron and spin structure of ferroelectric alpha-GeTe thin films doped with ferromagnetic Mn impurities to achieve its multiferroic functionality. We use bulk-sensitive soft-X-ray angle-resolved photoemission spectroscopy (SX-ARPES) to follow hybridization of the GeTe valence band with the Mn dopants. We observe a gradual opening of the Zeeman gap in the bulk Rashba bands around the Dirac point with increase of the Mn concentration, indicative of the ferromagnetic order, at persistent Rashba splitting. Furthermore, subtle details regarding the spin-orbit and magnetic order entanglement are deduced from spin-resolved ARPES measurements. We identify antiparallel orientation of the ferroelectric and ferromagnetic polarization, and altering of the Rashba-type spin helicity by magnetic switching. Our experimental results are supported by first-principles calculations of the electron and spin structure.