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Coupling lattice instabilities across the interface in ultrathin oxide heterostructures

DOI: 10.1021/acsmaterialslett.9b00540 DOI Help

Authors: Thierry C. Van Thiel (Delft University of Technology) , Jennifer Fowlie (University of Geneva) , Carmine Autieri (Institute of Physics, Polish Academy of Sciences; Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, Istituto Superconduttori, Materiali Innovativi e Dispositivi (CNR- SPIN)) , Nicola Manca (Delft University of Technology) , Makars Šiškins (Delft University of Technology) , Dmytro Afanasiev (Delft University of Technology) , Stefano Gariglio (University of Geneva) , Andrea D. Caviglia (Delft University of Technology)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Acs Materials Letters

State: Published (Approved)
Published: March 2020

Open Access Open Access

Abstract: Oxide heterointerfaces constitute a rich platform for realizing novel functionalities in condensed matter. A key aspect is the strong link between structural and electronic properties, which can be modified by interfacing materials with distinct lattice symmetries. Here, we determine the effect of the cubic-tetragonal distortion of SrTiO3 on the electronic properties of thin films of SrIrO3, a topological crystalline metal hosting a delicate interplay between spin-orbit coupling and electronic correlations. We demonstrate that below the transition temperature at 105 K, SrIrO3 orthorhombic domains couple directly to tetragonal domains in SrTiO3. This forces the in-phase rotational axis to lie in-plane and creates a binary domain structure in the SrIrO3 film. The close proximity to the metal–insulator transition in ultrathin SrIrO3 causes the individual domains to have strongly anisotropic transport properties, driven by a reduction of bandwidth along the in-phase axis. The strong structure–property relationships in perovskites make these compounds particularly suitable for static and dynamic coupling at interfaces, providing a promising route towards realizing novel functionalities in oxide heterostructures.

Journal Keywords: Thin films; Lattices; Chemical structure; Physical and chemical processes; Phase transitions

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics

Instruments: I16-Materials and Magnetism

Other Facilities: X04SA Materials Science beamline at the Paul Scherrer Institute