Nature of the metal-insulator transition in few-unit-cell-thick LaNiO3 films
Sterbinsky, G. E.
Arena, D. A.
Millis, A. J.
Gray, A. X.
Xi, X. X.
SubjectElectronic properties and materials
Phase transitions and critical phenomena
Surfaces, interfaces and thin films
Permanent link to this recordhttp://hdl.handle.net/20.500.12613/33
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AbstractThe nature of the metal-insulator transition in thin films and superlattices of LaNiO3 only a few unit cells in thickness remains elusive despite tremendous effort. Quantum confinement and epitaxial strain have been evoked as the mechanisms, although other factors such as growth-induced disorder, cation non-stoichiometry, oxygen vacancies, and substrate–film interface quality may also affect the observable properties of ultrathin films. Here we report results obtained for near-ideal LaNiO3 films with different thicknesses and terminations grown by atomic layer-by-layer laser molecular beam epitaxy on LaAlO3 substrates. We find that the room-temperature metallic behavior persists until the film thickness is reduced to an unprecedentedly small 1.5 unit cells (NiO2 termination). Electronic structure measurements using X-ray absorption spectroscopy and first-principles calculation suggest that oxygen vacancies existing in the films also contribute to the metal-insulator transition.
CitationGolalikhani, M., Lei, Q., Chandrasena, R.U., Kasaei, L., Park, H., Bai, J., Orgiani, P., Ciston, J., Sterbinsky, G. E., Arena, D. A., Shafer, P., Arenholz, E., Davidson, B. A., Millis, A. J., Gray, A. X., Xi, X. X. (2018) Nature of the metal-insulator transition in few-unit-cell-thick LaNiO3 films. Nature Communications 9: 1-8. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-018-04546-5.
Citation to related workNature Publishing Group
Has partNature Communications, Vol. 9, Article 2206
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