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Disentangling specific versus generic doping mechanisms in oxide heterointerfaces

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.95.195109 DOI Help

Authors: J. Gabel (Universität Würzburg) , M. Zapf (Universität Würzburg) , P. Scheiderer (Universität Würzburg) , P. Schütz (Universität Würzburg) , L. Dudy (Universität Würzburg) , M. Stübinger (Universität Würzburg) , C. Schlueter (Diamond Light Source) , T.-l. Lee (Diamond Light Source) , M. Sing (Universität Würzburg) , R. Claessen (Universität Würzburg)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review B , VOL 95 , PAGES 195109

State: Published (Approved)
Published: May 2017
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 9717 , 12044 , 11394 , 14432 , 15455

Abstract: More than a decade after the discovery of the two-dimensional electron system (2DES) at the interface between the band insulators LaAlO 3 (LAO) and SrTiO 3 (STO) its microscopic origin is still under debate. Several explanations have been proposed, the main contenders being electron doping by oxygen vacancies and electronic reconstruction, i.e., the redistribution of electrons to the interface to minimize the electrostatic energy in the polar LAO film. However, no experiment thus far could provide unambiguous information on the microscopic origin of the interfacial charge carriers. Here we utilize a novel experimental approach combining photoelectron spectroscopy (PES) with highly brilliant synchrotron radiation and apply it to a set of samples with varying key parameters that are thought to be crucial for the emergence of interfacial conductivity. Based on microscopic insight into the electronic structure, we obtain results tipping the scales in favor of polar discontinuity as a generic, robust driving force for the 2DES formation. Likewise, other functionalities such as magnetism or superconductivity might be switched in all-oxide devices by polarity-driven charge transfer.

Subject Areas: Physics, Materials

Instruments: I09-Surface and Interface Structural Analysis