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Microscopic origin of the mobility enhancement at a spinel/perovskite oxide heterointerface revealed by photoemission spectroscopy

DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevB.96.161409 DOI Help

Authors: P. Schütz (Universität Würzburg) , D. V. Christensen (Technical University of Denmark) , V. Borisov (Goethe University) , F. Pfaff (Universität Würzburg) , P. Scheiderer (Universität Würzburg) , L. Dudy (Universität Würzburg) , M. Zapf (Universität Würzburg) , J. Gabel (Universität Würzburg) , Y. Z. Chen (Technical University of Denmark) , N. Pryds (Technical University of Denmark) , Victor Rogalev (Universität Würzburg) , V. N. Strocov (Swiss Light Source) , C. Schlueter (Diamond Light Source) , T.-l. Lee (Diamond Light Source) , H. O. Jeschke (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main) , R. Valentí (Goethe University Frankfurt am Main) , M. Sing (Universität Würzburg) , R. Claessen (Universität Würzburg)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Physical Review B , VOL 96

State: Published (Approved)
Published: October 2017

Abstract: The spinel/perovskite heterointerface γ−Al2O3/SrTiO3 hosts a two-dimensional electron system (2DES) with electron mobilities exceeding those in its all-perovskite counterpart LaAlO3/SrTiO3 by more than an order of magnitude, despite the abundance of oxygen vacancies which act as electron donors as well as scattering sites. By means of resonant soft x-ray photoemission spectroscopy and ab initio calculations, we reveal the presence of a sharply localized type of oxygen vacancies at the very interface due to the local breaking of the perovskite symmetry. We explain the extraordinarily high mobilities by reduced scattering resulting from the preferential formation of interfacial oxygen vacancies and spatial separation of the resulting 2DES in deeper SrTiO3 layers. Our findings comply with transport studies and pave the way towards defect engineering at interfaces of oxides with different crystal structures.

Journal Keywords: Conductivity; Dopants; Impurities; Irradiation effects; Solid-solid interfaces; Two-dimensional electron gas; Ab initio calculations; Photoemission spectroscopy

Subject Areas: Physics, Materials

Instruments: I09-Surface and Interface Structural Analysis

Other Facilities: Swiss Light Source