The magnetoelectric effect in bulk matter is of growing interest both fundamentally and technologically. Since the beginning of the century, the magnetoelectric effect has been studied intensively in multiferroic materials. However, magnetoelectric phenomena in materials without any (anti-)ferroic order remain almost unexplored. Here we show the observation of a new class of bulk magnetoelectric effect, by revisiting elemental trigonal tellurium. We demonstrate that elemental tellurium, which is a nonmagnetic semiconductor, exhibits current-induced magnetization. This effect is attributed to spin splitting of the bulk band owing to the lack of inversion symmetry in trigonal tellurium. This finding highlights magnetoelectricity in bulk matter driven by moving electrons without any (anti-)ferroic order. Notably, current-induced magnetization generates a magnetic field that is not circular around but is parallel to the applied current; thus, this phenomenon opens a new area of magnetic field generation beyond Ampere's law that may lead to industrial applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)